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HANDBOUND 
AT THE 






ir^ 



HISTORY 



6^^^ 



THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES 



1734-1825. 



BY GENERAL PIETRO COLLETTA. 



TRANSLATED FROM THE ITALIAN 



BY S. HORNER. 



WITH A SUPPLEMENTARY CHAPTER 

1825-1856. 



VOL. I. 



'3> 



A 







EDINBURGH: T. CONSTABLE AND CO. 

HAMILTON, ADAMS, AND CO., LONDON. 

MDCCCLVIII. 



KDlxnUKOH : T. CONSTi*BLE, PRINTER TO HER MAJESTY. 



CONTENTS OF VOL. L 



BOOK I. 

REIGN OF CHARLES OF BOURBON.— 1734-1759. 

CHAPTER I. 

PAGK 

Introduction to tlie reign of Charles of Bourbon — Reigning Houses — Viceregal 
Government until 1700 — Continuation of the Viceregal Government under 
Philip V. — Conspiracy of the Macchia — Philip v. visits Naples in the year 
1702 — War with the Empire — Viceregal Government under Charles vi. — 
Peace of Utrecht — Peace of Rastadt — War in Sicily — Treaty of London 
accepted by Philip v. — Auto-da-fe in Sicily — Expedition against Naples by 
Charles of Bourbon — State of Naples on the arrival of Charles of Bourbon, 1-28 

CHAPTER II. 

< ouquest of the Sicilies by the Infant Charles of Bourbon — Movements of the 
Spanish army in Italy — Preparations for defence by the Imperial Viceroy — 
Advance of the Spaniards — Charles of Bourbon makes his public entry into 
Naples — Battle of Bitonto — Final Conquest of the kingdom — Expedition 
against Sicily — Charles visits Sicily — His Coronation, . . . 29-50 

CHAPTER III. 

The reign of Charles from the Conquest to the victory of Velletri — Reforms in 
the kingdom — Marriage of Charles — The Orders of St. Januarius and St. 
(iennaro — Disputes with the Pope — Investiture of Charles in the kiugdoni 
of the Two Sicilies — Concordat — Renewed war in Italy — Charles prepares 
for war — Feats of arms in the camp at Velletri — Charles surprised by the 
enemy — The German ru-niy retires— Charles returns to Naples, . . 51-81 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER IV. 



Continuation and end of the reign of Charles — Public works — Discovery of Her- 
culaneum and Pompeii — Measures of Charles deserving of both censure and 
praise — Popular risings against the introduction of the Inquisition — Continu- 
ance of the war of Italy — Death of Philip v. — Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle — 
Attempts of Charles to subvert the feudal system — The third Estate — Death 
of Ferdinand vi. — Charles succeeds to the throne of Spain — Charles provides 
for the succession in the kingdom of Naples — His departure, . . 82-102 



BOOK 11. 
REIGN OF FERDINAND IV.— 1759-1790. 



CHAPTER I. 

Minority of the king — Title and investiture of the new king — The jurisdiction of 

the Church — Education of the king — Famine in the kingdom, . . 103-112 

CHAPTER II. 

The king attains his majority, and assumes the government — State of Europe, 
and its relations with Naples — Expulsion of the Jesuits — Disputes with the 
Pope — Marriage of the king — Reconciliation w^ith the Pope — Fresh disputes 
with Rome — Abolition of the Ckinea — National education — Defects in the 
administration — Coral fisheries — Colonies — Poverty of the Exchequer — Feu- 
dalism — Refonns in the law tribunals — The office of Syndic restored — Bad 
laws — Commerce — State of the armv, . . . - . 113-141 



CHAPTER III. 

(Continuation of the reign of Ferdinand — Birth of a Prince — Tanucci deprived of 
power — Concordat with Rome commenced and interrupted— Sir John Acton 
— Earthquakes in Calabria — Journey of the King and Queen of Naples — 
Death of remarkable person.s — Public works — Colony of San Leucio — Mar- 
riages in the royal family, ...... 142-164 



CHAPTER IV. 

The Revolution in France, and its first effects in the kingdom of Naples — First 
movements in France — The Assembly of Notables — The States-general — 
The Bastile taken — Progress of the Revolution — The Royal Family returns to 
Paris — Wise laws of the National Assembly — Effects of the French Revolu- 
tion on Naples— State of Naples at the end of the year 1790— Fears for the 
future, ......... 165-182 



CONTENTS. 

BOOK III. 

REIGN OF FERDINAND IV.— 17U1-17<)'.). 

('HAPTER I 

PAGB 

Preparations for war and defence — Return of the sovereigns of Naples — Internal 
measures — Continuation of the history of France — Persecution of the liberals 
in Naples — Execution of Louis xvi. — Resolution of the sovereigns of Naples 
for the defence of Italy — French fleet at Naples — Reconciliation with France 
— Suspicions and persecution — Origin of the Lazzaroni — C'onfederation with 
England, ..... '^. .. . 183-201 

CHAPTER II. 

War with France — Peace — Violation of treaties — Indictments for treason, 1793- 
1798 — Expedition to Toulon — Subsidies and levy of troops — Robbery of the 
National Banks — Disputes between Naples and Sweden — Memorable erup- 
tion of Vesuvius — Condemnations for treason — Plots of Acton against the 
Chevalier Medici — Attempted revolution in Palermo — Honourable conduct 
of the Neapolitan troops in Italy — Encampments along the frontiers of the 
kingdom — Peace of Paris — Marriage of Prince Francis, heir to the throne — 
The Prince of Paterno carried into slavery — Assassination of General Dn- 
phot at Rome — A republic established at Rome — Trials for treason — The 
battle of Aboukir — Nelson arrives in Naples, .... 202-247 

CHAPTER UI. 

Disastrous war with the French Republic — Insurrections in the kingdom — Flight 
of the king — ^'ictor3' and triumph of the arms of France, 1798, 1799 — Prepa- 
rations of the French on the frontiers of Rome — Irruption of the Neapolitan 
army into the Roman States — The King of Naples enters Rome in triumph 
— Disasters of the araiy — Flight of the king from Rome — Retreat of tJie 
army — Enterprise of the French against Naples — The king's proclamation — 
The Commander of Gaeta surrenders that fortress — Assault and defence of 
Capua — Risings inNaples — Flight of the king — Mistakes of the Regent — Truce 
with the French, and worse disorders in the city — Seizure of the Castle of 
Sant' Elmo— Anarchy— Attack on the city— Victory of the French, . 248-288 

BOOK IV. 

THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC— Januakv to June 1799. 

CHAPTER I. 

Laws for the organization of the Republic — Speeches and celebration of the event 
— Moral condition of the people — Regulations for the new government and 
various laws — Finances — War-tax — General discontent — State of the pro- 
vinces — Proposal for a Neapolitan Constitution by Mario Pagano — Departure 
of General Championnet — Tuscany occupied by the French, . . 289-310 

a 2 



VI CONTENTS. 



CHAFIER II. 



Insurrections of the Bourbonists in the jirovinces — Attempts against the Repub- 
lic by the King of Sicily and the English — Retreat of the French — Risings 
in the Abruzzi ; in the Terra di Lavoro ; in the Principality of Salerno ; in the 
Basilicata — Disturbances in Puglia ; in Calabria — Cardinal Ruffo in Cala- 
bria — Sack of Cotrone — Stipulations of Catanzaro — Misfortunes of the geo- 
logist Dolomieu — Massacre of the French at Agosta — Military expedition of 
the French into the provinces^Schipani defeated — Conquest of Sanseverino 
— Destruction of Andria; of Trani— Submission of Puglia to the French — 
Progress of Cardinal RufFo — New Constitution of the Neapolitan Republic — 
Destruction of Altamura by the Cardinal — The French at Caserta — Revolt 
of Lettere, Castellaraare, and Gragnano — The French abandon Naples— The 
fall of the Republic, after the retreat of the French army— Measures of the 
Republican Government — Capture of Procida and Ischia — Conspiracy of 
Baker — The army of the Holy Faith advances to attack Naples — Measures 
of public safety — Defeat of Schipani — Defence of Vigliena — Death of Luigi 
Serio — The Republicans take refuge in the castles — Capitulation of the fort 
of Castellamare— Offers of Peace of the Cardinal to the Directory — Truce — 
Consultations— Peace — Capitulation of the castles — Violation of the treaty 
by the king— Surrender of Sant' Elmo, Capua, and Gaeta — End of the 
Republic, ........... 311-36(> 



BOOK V. 
REIGN OF FERDINAND IV.— 1799-1806. 
CHAPTER I. 

King Ferdinand of Bourbon resumes the throne — Massacres in the city — Lady 
Hamilton and Lord Nelson — Death of Admiral Caracciolo — Royal decrees — 
The Junta of State — Trials and executions— Rewards bestowed on the king's 
adherents— Ordinances for the army, 367-392 

CHAPTER II. 

Enterprises of the Neapolitan Government— Expedition against Rome — General 
Bourcard succeeded by General Naselli — ^Return of Bonaparte from Egypt — 
Cardinal Ruffo at the conclave at Venice — Discovery of Vaccination — A 
general pardon — The Order of St. Ferdinand instituted — Levy of men and 
horses — Preparations of Bonaparte for the war of Italy — Battle of Marengo 
— Armistice of Alessandria — Election of Pius vn. — Cession of Malta to Eng- 
land — Bii-th of Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Two Sicilies — War be- 
tween Naples and France— Peace of Luneville — Treaty of Florence, . 393-43<) 

CHAPTER in. 

Peace of Amiens — Renewed hostilities with France^Double marriage with the 
House of Spain — Don Giuseppe Zurlo— State of the finances— England 



CONTENTS. VII 

hrcaks the Trcatv of Auiiciis — War — Bonaparte Emperor — Intrigues of the 
Jesuits — Earthquake in the county of Molise — Bonapaile crowned King of 
Italy — The camp at Boulogne — Maritime war — Battle of Trafalgar — Bona- 
parte prepares to invade Naples — Treaty of neutrality between Naples and 
France — Treaty of Naples with the enemies of France — Arrival of Kussian 
and English troops in Naples, 431 -40;$ 

CHAI^ER IV. 

Final events of this period, 1805, 1806 — The French conquests in Germany — 
Battle of Austerlitz — Peace of Presburg — Advance of the French against 
Naples — Joseph Bonaparte and General Massena approach the kingdom — 
Departure of the king for Sicily followed by the queen — the Eegents send 
envoys to Pnnce Josepji — The French army enter Naples, . . 454-4r)'.) 



BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICE 



GENERAL PIETRO COLLETTA. 



PiETKo CoLLETTA was bom in Naples on the 23d January 1 775. 
He early showed a predilection for the study of mathematics, but 
applied himself diligently to Latin, for the sole purpose, it is be- 
lieved, of reading" Tacitus, whose writings he afterwards used as a 
model for composition and style. His natural inclinations, how- 
ever, led him to prefer a life of activity to one of study and con- 
templation, and he entered the army as an officer of artillery in 
1796. 

He distinguished himself in the war against the French in 1798, 
and had then an opportunity of observing the superiority of the 
enemy, and the great want of discipline in the Neapolitan troops. 
After the entrance of the French into Naples, Colletta hoped for 
improvements in his country, but while admiring the liberal form 
of government now introduced, he learnt to despise the boasts of 
demagogues, and of shallow philosophers. He was, however, in- 
volved in the ruin of the Republic, and was shut up in prison with 
some of the most illustrious men of the age, whom he saw, one by 
one, taken out, only to be led to the scaffold. His own life was 
saved by the exertions of one of his relations, who, by bribery and 
a false attestation respecting his identity, obtained his liberation. 



X BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICE OF 

Having been dismissed the army, Colletta now entered upon the 
profession of a civil engineer, and assisted to drain the Marshes of 
Ofanto, at the time when Fra Diavolo occupied the province in the 
name of the king. In 1806, the French again invaded Naples, 
when Colletta, already distinguished among the friends of order 
and reform, aided by his voice and example in forming the guard 
of citizens, to which Naples is indebted for having been frequently 
saved from the fury of the mob. King Joseph restored him to his 
rank, and he attracted the notice of the Minister Saliceti by his 
conduct during the harassing war which followed. The minister 
recommended him to King Joachim, as capable of greater things. 
Colletta was accordingly intrusted to explore the island of Capri, 
then garrisoned by the English under Sir Hudson Lowe, and to 
discover the best place for landing the troops intended for its con- 
quest. The success of the expedition justified the recommendation 
of Saliceti, and Colletta was next sent as Intendente or civil gover- 
nor to Calabria Ultra, at that time agitated by civil war, instigated 
from Sicily. 

Colletta resided two years in the capital city of Monteleone, 
where he had ample opportunity to collect materials for his future 
History. He accompanied Joachim on his attempted enterprise 
against Sicily, and in 1812 returned to Naples as superintendent 
of roads and bridges, and with the rank of general. In 1813, he 
was appointed to the chief command of the military engineers, and 
in 1814, he was made councillor of state. 

In 1815, he gained fresh laurels when fighting the Austrians on 
the Panaro, and after following Joachim through this disastrous 
campaign, he was employed by him to negotiate the treaty of 
Casalanza. Despairing for Naples, he now thought of abandoning 
liis country, and hoped to serve her cause better in foreign lands. 
But though under suspicion as a Muratist, his rank was confirmed 
by Ferdinand, and he was appointed to the command of a division 
at Salerno. The Minister Medici courted his friendship, but Col- 
letta predicted another revolution in the kingdom, which Medici 



GENERAL PIETRO COLLETTA, \1 

refused to believe, or to use measures to prevent, and an alienation 
subsequently took place between these two men. 

When the Revolution of 1820 broke out, Ferdinand sent for Col- 
letta, and restored him to the command of the engineers. Soon 
afterwards he was sent to Sicily with the authority of royal lieu- 
tenant, to suppress the revolt there ; and where, by his own con- 
fession, he was merciless to the revolutionary party. After two 
months he returned to Naples just as the fortunes of the constitu- 
tionalists were nearest their ebb. Colletta succeeded Parisi as 
minister of war ; he Entered on office on the 26th February 1821, 
and on the 23d March the Germans had possession of Naples, and 
were followed by King Ferdinand, accompanied by Canosa. First 
among the victims reserved for vengeance was Colletta ; he was 
arrested and thrown into the Castle of Sant' Elmo. Here he had 
to endure the insults and menaces of Canosa for three months ; 
until the Austrian policy saw fit to put some curb on the violence 
of the Neapolitan government, when Colletta, with four of the 
most illustrious members of Parliament and officers were removed 
from their dungeons, and without any form of trial, hurried on 
board a German vessel bound for Trieste. Colletta was finally 
conveyed to Briinn in Moravia, at the foot of that Spielberg which 
has been made a living tomb for so many Italian patriots. The 
sight of this fortress, the severity of the climate, and the unceasing 
longing for his home, aggravated his sufferings. His health at 
last began to decline, and the physicians fearing for his life, he 
was allowed after two years to reside in Florence, where he arrived 
in March 1823. 

In his dreary exile in Moravia, he conceived the first idea of his 
History, which he commenced writing in Florence, and this work 
occupied the remaining eight years of his life. His first literary 
labour had been a military narrative of the last war of Joachim, 
which he wrote in 1815. In 1820, soon after the outbreak of the 
revolution, he published two short pamphlets, which excited some 
attention at the time. While in Florence he formed a close inti- 



I attention i 



Xll BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICE OF GENERAL PIETRO COLLETTA. 

macy "with two of the most celebrated authors in Italy, and fre- 
quently consulted them on his History. He lived a life of the 
strictest retirement and economy, seeking in Leghorn a more genial 
climate.in the winter ; he died at Florence on the 11th November 
1881, and was buried in a little chapel on the road between that 
city and Pisa. 

The Translator of this history has added footnotes where they 
were felt to be needed for the explanation of the text ; and for 
many of these, begs to acknowledge the valuable assistance of 
friends, as well as in the compilation of the Supplementary Chap- 
ters. 



HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF MPLES. 



• / B K I. 
REIGN OF CHARLES OF BOURBON. 

1734-1759. 
CHAPTER I. 

INTRODUCTION TO THE REIGN OF CHARLES OF BOURBON. 

The river Tronto, the Lirl, the petty stream of San Magno 
near Portella, the chain of the Apennines, whence these rivers 
take their rise, and the shores of the Mediterranean skirting the 
Tyrrhenean, the Ionian, and tlie Adriatic Seas, from the Lake of 
Fondi to the mouth of the Tronto, are the boundaries of that land, 
which, in the eleventli century, obeyed the Greek Empire, and 
the Lombard lords of Capua, Salerno, and Benevento. By the 
valour of the Norman Robert Guiscard, these detached sove- 
reignties were united and transmitted entire to his nephew Roger, 
who had already made himself king of Sicily, which he had con- 
quered from the Saracens and Greeks (1130). The kingdom 
passed from him to William the Bad, William the Good, Tancred, 
and, for a short time, to William lii. When the second William 
lost all hopes of an heir, he united the last survivor of the blood 
of Roger, the Princess Constance, in marriage with the Emperor 
Henry of the house of Swabia, who, upon the death of Tancred, 
succeeded to the crown of Sicily and Puglia. 

Thus, in the year 1 1 89, the kingdom passed from the Norman 
race, distinguished for their warlike virtues, to the Swabian. 

VOL. I. A 



2 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1268. 

To Henry succeeded the great "king, Frederic ii., and to him, 
for a short period, Conrad, followed by Manfred, another but ille- 
gitimate son. The Popes of Rome, who pretended to the supre- 
macy of the world, and more especially to that of the Sicilies, after 
having given much disquiet to the princes of the Norman dynasty, 
turned their sacred weapons and warriors against the Swabian. 
Always defeated, although they fought in an age of ignorance, 
but from the very ignorance of their contemporaries, incapable of 
being either crushed or annihilated, the pontiffs rose from their 
losses more enraged and hostile than before. 

After three preceding Popes had vainly tempted the ambition 
of Henry iii. of England, Clement iv. instigated Charles of Anjou, 
the brother of Louis of France, and a celebrated warrior, to take 
up arms against Manfred ; and, urged on by the restless desires of 
his wife,^ Charles arrived with an army prepared for this enter- 
prise. He was crowned king of the Sicilies in Rome (1266), and, 
entering the kingdom, attacked Manfred, who was encamped near 
Benevento. The valour of the Swabian was not proof against the 
fortunes of France, and the infamous treachery of his subjects in 
Puglia. Manfred perished in the battle, and Charles was already 
happy in the possession of his throne, when Conrad in, the son of 
Conrad, advanced to attack him (1268). The youth, having con- 
quered the Guelphic cities of Italy, and having been victorious at 
Tagliacozzo, where the hostile armies met, was rejoicing in the 
camp over his success, and his hopes for the future, when the king 
sent against him a fresh legion, which he had kept in reserve. 
Defeated and forced to fly, Conradin was next betrayed and made 
prisoner by the fortunate Charles ; and, a year later, by the inhu- 
manity of the king, or the cruel advice of the pontiff, this last 
representative of the house of Swabia was beheaded ; the race of 
Anjou was thus established in the kingdom of the Sicilies. 

Six kings and two queens of this dynasty ruled over the king- 
dom for a period of 175 years, during which time it was a prey to 
foreign and domestic wars. The Swabian monarchs, Manfred and 
Conradin, perislied by order of the kings of the house of Anjou ; 
and Andrew and Joanna i. of their own race likewise died violent 

* Beatrice, fourth daughter of Raymond three elder sisters had married the sove- 
Berenger, last Count of Provence, whose reigns of France, Germany, and England, 



1441. CHARLES OF BOURBON. 3 

deaths. King Charles of Durazzo, discovered in conspiracies against 
the two queens of Hungary,^ was murdered, and Ladislaus died 
from poison. During this period, 8000 French, the tyrants of 
Sicily, were massacred at the Vespers of John of Procida ; the 
barons of the kingdom were constantly divided among themselves, 
and, through the agency of the princes of the House of Anjou, 
arose the schism in the Church, by which two and even three con- 
temporaneous Popes divided the spoils of the Apostolic See, and 
the consciences of Christendom. But while in the recesses of 
their palace these kings concealed crimes of the utmost enormity, 
when upon their thrones they displayed the greatest veneration for 
the Church ; they built and endowed churches and monasteries, 
gave dominion to the Popes, and granted privileges to ecclesiastics. 
Charles i. and Ladislaus were valiant in war, and Robert governed 
wisely, though the virtues of all three were tarnished by the vices 
inherent in their blood ; the remaining sovereigns of this dynasty 
were scourges to the kingdom. 

In the year 1441, after Rene, the last of the House of Anjou, had 
fled, Alphonso i. of Arragon established the dominion of the Arrago- 
nese princes, which terminated in 1501, with the flight of Frederic. 
Five kings of that dynasty succeeded one another in less than sixty 
years, four of whom, Ferdinand i., Alphonso ii., Ferdinand ii., 
and Frederic, filled the throne in the short space of three years, 
including the interruption caused by the conquest and dominion 
of Charles viii. Wars were frequent during the reign of this proud 
and cruel race of Arragon ; the most noble and influential families 
in the kingdom were crushed ; the exchequer impoverished ; and 
the spirit of party kindled among the barons. These dissensions, 
and the general weakness, caused the State to sink from a pow^er- 
ful kingdom to an insignificant province of a distant empire. I 
shall briefly describe the miseries which ensued, but let the reader 
remember that in little more than three centuries and a half, four 
dynasties liad succeeded one another, giving twenty-two sovereigns 
to Naples, without including the transitory reigns of Louis King 
of Hungary, of Pope Innocent iv., of James of Arragon, and of 

^ Elizabeth, widow of the last king, Hungary. Charles of Durazzo rested his 
Louis the Great, aud her daughter, Mary, claim on that of his wife, Mary, daughter 
child and heiress to the crown of of Stephen, of the race of Arpad. 



I 



4 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1441 

Charles viii. ; that for short intervals of peace, the people had 
endured long years of war ; that amidst suffering, civilisation had 
advanced, and that, during these vicissitudes, the peculiar defect 
remarked in the Neapolitan character was political inconstancy, or 
rather hatred of the existing government, and a perpetual craving 
after a new State, at once the cause and the result of their unhappy 
condition. 

When Frederic, the last of the Arragonese princes, attacked 
by the King of France, and betrayed by his uncle, the King of 
Spain, was obliged to fly from Italy, the two successful monarchs, 
while dividing the kingdom they had usurped, contended, by their 
lieutenants and armies, for the right of sole possession. Gonsalvo, 
the great captain, conquered ; the whole kingdom fell to Ferdinand 
the Catholic, and was thenceforward governed by his viceroys 
as a province. This was the commencement of that viceregal 
government, which afflicted the nation for a period of 230 years. 
The first viceroy was Gonsalvo. 

All the political institutions of the country underwent a change. 
The old magistracies lost authority and influence before a new 
tribunal called the Collateral Council ;i the importance of the 
ministers of State diminished, and the officials in the palace re- 
tained nothing but the name ; the army was disbanded, and the 
navy became subordinate to the navy and commerce of Spain, while 
the viceroy, who levied the taxes for the supply of the finances, 
resided within the kingdom, and the king, who dispensed the money 
and other advantages, resided abroad. The feudal lords were 
humbled now that they were deprived of their arms, and the nobles 
were degraded by being associated with new princes and dukes, 
whose titles had been purchased. Although, by the terms of the 
peace, the adherents of the House of Anjou had their possessions 
restored to them, they only received a small part, and after con- 
siderable delays ; and the adherents of the Swabian and Arrago- 
nese princes were entirely despoiled. Ghibelines and Guelphs 
were alike persecuted, and, while the pride of Rome revived, every- 
thing else degenerated. 

* Consigllo Collaterale, a board, partly last resort, and the bead of the executive go- 
composed of Spaniards, at once the highest vernment. — Italy and the Italian Islands, 
legislative body, the court of justice in the W. Spalding, vol. ii. p. 267. 



1700. CHARLES OF BOURBON. 5 

Thus elapsed two centuries of provincial servitude, more or less 
miserable, until the accession of Philip y} and Charles vi.^ to the 
thrones of Spain and of the Empire. During this period, seven 
kings of the House of Spain, from Ferdinand the Catholic to 
Charles ii., had ruled with despotic power ; and thirty Roman 
Pontiffs, from Alexander vi. to Clement xi., had, in various ways, 
persecuted both the princes and people. Numerous viceroys had 
succeeded one another ; some good, some indifferent, and others 
bad. The dominion of the House of Spanish- Austria ended by 
tlie death of Charles ii., in the year 1 700, at which period Pietro 
Giannone concludes Ms history, — a historian who has been highly 
praised, but wliose merits exceed his reputation. Though I no 
more presume to compare my work with that of this exalted but 
unhappy genius, than to recommend myself to the public by the 
similarity of our misfortunes, I propose (in order to connect my 
history with his) to give a more detailed account of the events 
relating to the viceregal government from 1700 to 1734, when 
Charles of Bourbon began his reign ; and hoping that my readers 
are already well acquainted with the works of Giannone, it will 
be enough if I at times merely allude to those parts of early his- 
tory necessary for the comprehension of the facts I may have to 
describe. 

Towards the end of the year 1700, Philip v. ascended the 
throne of Spain ; and, by the will of the deceased king, Charles ii., 
succeeded to all the dominions appertaining to that Crown. But 
the Emperor Leopold disputing the right of Philip to the throne, 
armies were prepared to decide this great contest. When Medina- 
coeli, the viceroy of Naples, proclaimed Philip v., the people listened 
with indifference ; while the nobles, who were attached to Austria, 
and opposed to the House of France, lamented his accession, be- 
cause he was one of that family, and Duke of Anjou ; but their 
hopes were revived by the war in Lombardy, where the imperial 
arms were successful, and by the fame of the captain, Prince 

^ Philip v., grandson of Louis xiv. of * Charles vi., second son of the Emperor 

France, second son of Louis Dauphin of Leopold, was destined by his father for 

France, and of Marie Anne of Bavaria, the throne of Spain, which Louis xiv. of 

born 1683, called to the Crown of Spain, France had resolved should be occupied 

1700, by the will of Charles ii., King of by his grandson. He became emperor in 

Spain, who died without issue. 1711. 



6 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1701. 

Eugene, wlioSe deeds were the talk of Italy. The Neapolitan 
nobles, accordingly, sent Don Giuseppe Capece, as secret envoy to 
Leopold, and after promising the emperor to raise the people in his 
favour, he obtained from him the following conditions : That he 
should send immediate aid in arms, change the State from a pro- 
vince to an independent kingdom, and give them the Archduke 
Charles for their king ; maintain the privileges conceded by for- 
mer princes ; institute a senate composed solely of Neapolitans, 
to advise him in the affairs of the kingdom ; preserve the ancient 
rights of the nobility, and grant new titles and lands to the con- 
spirators. Capece then returned to Naples to render an account 
of the success of his mission, and concert the plan for this difficult 
enterprise. 

Don Girolamo Capece and Signer Sassinet arrived from Rome 
at the same time, each feigning some good reason for his ap- 
pearance, as well as Don Jacopo Gambacorta, Prince of Macchia, 
from Barcelona. Capece had been a colonel in the army of the 
emperor, Sassinet secretary of the imperial embassy to the Pope, 
and Gambacorta was a young man, bold, eloquent, poor, and ambi- 
tious. Endowed with all the qualities which best fitted him for a 
conspirator, he was chosen leader, and the conspiracy received from 
him the name of Macchia (1701). It was the middle of September, 
when, after calculating time and action, they fixed on the 16th day 
of October to commence operations. Their design was to kill the 
viceroy; to gain possession of the fortresses of the city ; to proclaim 
Prince Charles, son of the Emperor Leopold, king; to overpower 
the small body of Spanish troops who were reposing carelessly on 
their posts ; and to rule the State until the arrival of the armed 
succour promised by the emperor. The conspirators included in 
their numbers almost the whole nobility of the kingdom, who shared 
the anxieties and dangers of the enterprise. 

But fresh incidents arrived to prevent further delay. Upon the 
information of the Duke de Uzeda, minister of Philip v. at Naples, 
the viceroy intercepted letters written by Cardinal Grimani, the 
emperor's ambassador at Rome, to one of the conspirators, which 
revealed the existence of a conspiracy, though leaving the con- 
necting links and its actual condition obscure. Suspicious, there- 
fore, of everything around him, Medinacoeli kept a strict watch 



1701. CHARLES OF BOUKBON. 7 

within his palace, altered his habits of life, collected the few 
troops he had with him, and placed spies upon the nobles and 
people; he then instituted the " Giunta degl' Inconfidenti,''^ a 
tribunal with the power to punish, and caused Father Vigliena of 
the Theatine Ordcr,^ to be imprisoned, upon which Father Torres, 
a Jesuit, fled ; the ministers of the Government and the con- 
spirators were equally alarmed. 

At length, either confident of their strength, or hurried on by 
their evil destiny, the conspirators hastened their preparations, 
and rose in an insurrection on the 23d September. Unable to fulfil 
their intention of killing- the viceroy (whose death had been con- 
certed with his coachman and two other of his menials), because 
he did not drive out as usual in his carriage, they invested Castel 
Nuovo, and found the gates closed and guarded ; thus the first 
hopes of the conspiracy failed. But after these irrevocable steps 
had been taken, they were obliged to proceed, led on by pre- 
sent necessity, and trusting to the irresistible force of a lawless 
mob. Raising the standard of the emperor, they proclaimed the 
new king, and increased the tumult, while overthrowing the images 
of Philip, and setting up those of Charles. They harangued the 
people in the public squares, promising them abundance, and, in 
conformity with the despotic usages of that period, impunity, 
favours, and privileges. In the midst of this excitement, these 
noble conspirators, either hoping to increase their influence, or 
from youthful arrogance, assumed the new titles of princes and 
dukes, for which they had stipulated with the Emperor. 

Doctor Saverio Pansuti, a proud man, but learned and eloquent, 
one of the conspirators, and chosen in the conspiracy Eletto^ of the 
people, ascended an elevated part of the Mercato,"^ which was 
densely crowded by a populace easily moved by any novelty, and 

* DegV Inconjidenti, want of confidence. canonized, who died at Naples (1547), an«l 

A tribunal appointed to try suspected per- w^ho is one of the patron saints of the city, 

sons. only second to St. Januarius, 

' Theatine Order. So called from the „_,,_. 

* c r^\ • r T. .• /T 1- rri i^ \ • JtLtetlo. In every commune the tax- 

town of Chieti, or Teti (Latin, Iheate), in 11 1 1 o ,. ^ "*^ 

A I..,. ^ nv 1 A 11-1 T5- i. payers annually elected a Syndic, and two 

Abruzzo Litra, where Archbishop Pietro ^«: ^^ ^ m • . , . . 

r«„- fe Ci. 4 -D 1 \\ n ^ officers called Eletti, to administer the 

Carafta, afterwards Paul IV., was the first , ,. ^ , p , ,. . 

».,r.^..;^- ^f *i.^ rk 1 Tj r 1 1 -i. • public funds of the district, 

superior of tfic Order. He founded it in * 

conjunction with Gaetano of Vicenza, since * The great market-place of the city. 



8 HISTORY OP THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1701. 

made a sign to them to listen. He then informed them that he 
was their new Eletto, reminded them of the evils of the Spanish 
rule, exaggerated the hopes to be entertained of the government 
of the emperor, magnified the forces of the conspiracy, promised 
gifts and rewards, and entreated the peoj^le to join the nobles. 
As he concluded his oration, a working-man, from amidst his 
audience, grey with age, spoke, in a loud voice, as follows : — 

" You Eletto, and ye people, hearken to me ; it is now many 
years ago, since we, led by Masaniello, the man of the people, 
aimed a blow at the bad government of the Spaniards : the nobles 
then ranged themselves against us, or stood aloof, and frequently 
harangued us (as the new Eletto has just done), to lead us back 
to servitude, which they called peace. I, then a boy, followed the 
people, and witnessed the deceptions practised by the great lords, 
the treachery of the Government, and the deaths of my relatives 
and friends. As an old man, grown wise with years, I now address 
you, and propose, that in this conspiracy of nobles, the people 
should abandon them, as, in the conspiracy of Masaniello, he was 
abandoned by the nobles. You hear the names they have already 
assumed, of Prince of Piombino, Prince of Salerno, and Count of 
Nola ; and you may expect as many more unheard-of titles, but 
all of which will prove new tyrannies for us : I shall now quit 
this place, and let all who believe my words follow me."' The 
square was immediately emptied, and the first speaker retired in 
confusion. 

The conspirators, however, were reinforced by many of the lowest 
of the populace, and by the peasantry, not from any attachment to 
the cause, but from the love of plunder. In the midst of the con- 
fusion they went about ransacking houses, and murdering those 
belonging to either party without distinction. On witnessing these 
atrocities, several of the nobles, though themselves either conspi- 
rators, or secret partisans, sought refuge in the castles garrisoned 
by the Spanish soldiers ; some fled from the turbulent city, and 
others barricaded their houses, and filled them with armed retain- 
ers. The unrestrained license of the populace, and the want of 
foresight on the part of the leaders, had so diminished the forces 
of the enterprise, that the Prince of Macchia issued an edict 
threatening the plunderers with the punishment of death, as well 



1702. CHARLES OF BOURBON. 9 

as those nobles who should delay a day lending their aid to the 
party of King Charles. This edict, by driving some to desperation, 
and appearing to others too violent a measure, served doubly to 
prejudice the interests of the conspiracy. 

The viceroy, therefore, perceiving the indifference of the people, 
the want of union among the nobles, and that the conspirators were 
few, and had taken alarm, ordered, on the third day, that the crews 
of galley-slaves, on board the Spanish vessels ancliored in the har- 
bour, should be landed ; after they had been formed into a band 
of soldiers, they were sent from Castel Nuovo against the rebels, 
who were encamped behind barricades in different quarters of the 
city. Meanwhile, in order to support the attack and add to the 
panic, the castles kept up a continual thunder of artillery. The 
tower of Santa Chiara, which had been taken possession of by the 
conspirators to hoist the standard of Austria, to reconnoitre the 
city from its summit, and to ring a double peal, was suddenly 
stormed, and the other posts were attacked and taken. The de- 
fenders were dispersed ; Macchia and others fled ; Sassinet and 
Sangro were taken prisoners ; the standard of Charles was lowered 
and insulted, and the images and colours of Philip restored. No- 
thing remained of this attempt at rebellion, but its recollection, 
the mischief it had caused, and the reflection on dangers overcome. 

Immediately afterwards, Medinacceli was recalled, and the Duke 
of Ascalon came as viceroy, from Sicily. Don Carlos di Sangro, 
a colonel in the service of the Emperor, was beheaded in the 
square of Castel Nuovo, and several of the conspirators shared his 
fate ; others were barbarously murdered in their dungeons ; Sassinet, 
although secretary to the Embassy, was sent prisoner to France; 
many besides languished in chains, and the property of all was 
confiscated to the exchequer. An increase of rigour, of punish- 
ments and tortures for all manner of crimes, and towards all classes 
of the citizens, now alarmed the people, who became exasperated 
against the Government, and repented not having joined the con- 
spiracy of the nobles. 

When King Philip was informed of this conspiracy, he coolly 
calculated the extent of the danger, and remembering that the 
issue of the wars in Italy and Spain w^as yet doubtful, resolved, 
by a display of liberality and clemency, to dispel the odium occa- 



10 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1707. 

sionecl by rebellion, and its consequent punishments. With this 
intention he embarked at Barcelona, and reached Naples in June 
1702, where he was welcomed with the joyous reception an op- 
pressed people are ever ready to bestow on him to whom they look 
for relief. They did not, however, obtain what they most desired, to 
retain their king in Naples, for a higher destiny called him to Spain ; 
but he amply rewarded their demonstrations of attachment by 
abolishing many taxes, remitting several millions of ducats^ owing 
to the exchequer, granting an amnesty for past political offences, 
and conferring titles on those nobles who had supported his claims, 
while his manners w^ere kind and affable towards all his subjects. 
The clergy, barons, and eletti assembled to vote a donation of three 
hundred thousand ducats to the king, as a token of the universal 
feeling of gratitude, and the erection of an equestrian statue in 
bronze to his honour, in the largest square of the city. But the 
advance of the Austrian army in Lombardy obliged Philip to leave 
Naples, after two months' agreeable sojourn, to assume tlie com- 
mand of the French armies, which were opposed to Eugene of 
Savoy. He left Ascalon regent. 

In the year 1705, the Emperor Leopold died, and was suc- 
ceeded by his eldest son Joseph. No relaxation in the fierceness 
of the wars in Germany and Italy followed ; Ascalon therefore 
sent soldiers, ships, and money to the aid of Spain, and harassed 
the overburdened people for levies of men and money. The attach- 
ment to Philip declined, a change to be attributed to the oppressive 
conduct of his representatives. Such was the state of affairs in 
1 707, when Prince Eugene, having defeated the French troops in 
Lombardy, sent five thousand infantry and three thousand German 
cavalry, under the command of Count Daun, by the way of Tivoli 
and Palestrina to Naples. The viceroy, Ascalon, having only a 
small force with him, appealed to the people, but found them un- 
willing to comply, partly from an aversion to war, and partly from 
their inclinations always leading them to favour a new govern- 
ment. Only Don Tommaso d'Aquino, Prince of Castiglione, and 
Don Niccolo Pignatelli, Duke of Bisaccia, with a few thousand 
armed followers, encamped behind the Garigliano, but on the ap- 
proach of Daun they returned to Naples. Capua and Aversa 

^ The Neapolitan ducat is about three shillings and fourpence. 



1707. CHARLES OP BOURBON". 11 

yielded to the conqueror, and the Duke of Ascalon repaired to 
Gaeta. The vanguard of the Germans, led by the Count of Mar- 
tinitz, who had been appointed viceroy by the emperor, was pre- 
paring to march to Naples as an enemy, when messengers of peace 
met them, and offered them the keys of the city ; and thus, before 
being conquered, she voluntarily submitted to a new ruler. The 
entrance of the imperial troops was triumphant, the people greeted 
the victor with shouts of applause, and, veliement as usual in 
their demonstrations of joy, they overthrew the statue of Philip v., 
which had so lately been erected ; broke it in pieces, and threw the 
fragments into the sea^. A few days later, the three castles of the 
city surrendered, and the garrison of Castel Nuovo. officers and 
soldiers, Spaniards and Neapolitans, without a sentiment of shame 
at their own inconstancy, passed into the service of the new 
prince. 

The Prince of Castiglione, either because his hopes were not yet 
extinguished, or, more to his honour,, because he refused to aban- 
don his colours in times of misfortune, repaired to Puglia w^ith a 
thousand horse ; but finding the pass of Avellino occupied by the 
enemy, turned off by Salerno. A more numerous body of German 
cavalry followed in pursuit of him ; he was abandoned by his men, 
and, with the few who remained of his thousand soldiers, was cap- 
tured. The effect of this example spread throughout the kingdom. 
The inhabitants of the Abruzzi, whom tlie Duke of Atri was vainly 
exciting to war, submitted to General Yetzeel, and soon afterwards 
the fortress of Pescara surrendered. Gaeta alone, reinforced by 
the galleys of the Duke of Tursi, made a show of resistance for a 
considerable time. 

The siege, which was directed by Count Daun, was hard pressed, 
and before the end of September a breach was opened, which the 
assailants mounted, and the besieged fled in disorder behind an 
embankment thrown up some days previously, to replace the ruined 
walls ; the weakness of the place, the alarm of the defenders, and 
the impetuosity of the attack, with the good fortune of the Ger- 
mans, carried them beyond the moat and the trench, and they 
entered the panic-stricken city, where they massacred and plun- 
dered the inhabitants. Ascalon, with a few others, took refuge in 
the little tower of Orlando, but surrendered the following day on 



12 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OP NAPLES. 1712 

the sole condition of tlieir lives being spared, and thus entered 
Naples as prisoners. Among the most distinguislied of those cap- 
tured, besides the viceroy, were the Duke of Bisaccia, and the 
Prince of Cellamare, who had both shortly before held places of 
authority, and been among the highest in the kingdom ; valiant 
in war, and of noble blood, they had been favourites of fortune, 
until now when fallen into adversity they were prisoners in the 
hands of a foreign barbarian. The people pursued this unhapj^y 
band of captives, and insulted Ascalon, while reminding him of 
the cruelties lie had perpetrated after the conspiracy of Macchia ; 
in a still more inhuman and cowardly spirit, they turned their in- 
sults against those two Neapolitan nobles, who alone, or with only 
a few adherents, had in misfortune maintained the fidelity they 
had sworn to Philip. The government of the emperor was estab- 
lished in the kingdom, but the Count of Martinitz being recalled 
into Germany, Count Daun remained as viceroy. 

His first care was to recover possession of the fortresses, 
called the Presidii of Tuscany,^ which were guarded by Spanish 
soldiers. Santo Stefano and Orbitello surrendered to General 
Vetzeel, wlio was sent thither with a large body of troops ; Porto 
Longone next yielded after a stouter resistance ; and lastly, Por- 
tercole, in 1712. Daun, having been summoned to tlie war in 
Lombardy, was succeeded in the viceroyalty by the Venetian, Car- 
dinal Vincenzo Grimani. 

The war in Naples was at an end ; but the occupation of Comac- 
chio by the imperial soldiers, the intimation from the emperor to 
the Duke of Parma no longer to consider himself a feudatory of 
the Pope but of the empire ; and, lastly, the prohibition to the 
kingdom of the Sicilies to pay the customary tribute to the pon- 
tiff, — induced Clement xi. to raise twenty thousand men-at-arms, 
placing them under the command of Count Ferdinand Marsili, a 
Bolognese, who encamped in the territory around Bologna, Ferrara, 

^ The Presidii of Tuscany. By a treaty republique, savoir ; Orbitello, Porto Ercole, 

concluded between Philip ii. of Spain and Telamone, Monte Argentero et Porto San 

Cosmo I., Duke of Florence, in 1557, Philip Stefano ; cette petite province a forme des- 

agreed to cede the State of Sienna to the lors ce qu'on a nomme I'etat des Presidii." 

latter. Sismondi, in his History, continues Sismondi, Histoire des Bepuh. Italiennes, 

thus : — " Philippe reserva toutefois a la vol. xvi. p. 154. 
monarchie espagnole les ports de cette 



1713. CHARLES OF BOURBON. 13 

and Comacchio. Upon this, Daun left Lombardj, and advanced 
to meet these troops, while other forces were collected in Naples 
to be sent against Rome. The Emperor Joseph did not wish to 
quarrel with the Pope, but intended by this menacing attitude to 
oblige him to recognise his brother Charles as sovereign of Spain. 
Daun, therefore, while approaching the encampments, proposed 
terms to the pontiff, who, by his bold and unflinching replies, 
evinced his determination to trust to the decision of war ; a novel 
spectacle ! when the leader of successful armies sued for peace, 
and a Pope invoked an appeal to arms ! 

After this obstinate' repulse, the German troops advanced, and, 
without much opposition, gained possession of Bondeno and Cento, 
surrounded Ferrara and Forte Urbano ; captured some of the 
Pope's soldiers, and put the rest to flight, who sought shelter in 
Imola and Faenza. After these disasters, fearing worse which 
threatened him by the army sent from Naples, Clement yielded ; 
and, no longer entreated, himself begged for terms of peace, and 
accepted those offered him, both avowed and secret, thus satisfying 
all the desires of the conqueror. The peace was real, so far as it 
depended on written acts, and the general belief; but it was only 
a truce or stratagem in the eyes of the pontiff", who waited his 
opportunity to break through the terms, which, not having been 
ratified by his conscience, were to him only a law of force, to last 
no longer than the necessity which dictated them. 

Upon the death of Cardinal Grimani in Naples (1710), Count 
Charles Borromeo, a Milanese, came as viceroy in his stead. 
The following year the Emperor Joseph died, and was succeeded 
by his brother Charles, the third of that name in the disputed 
kingdom of Spain, and the sixth in Germany and Naples. The 
war called the War of Succession lasted two years longer, w^hen the 
Peace of Utrecht came to rejoice the hearts of the afflicted people 
(1713). That part of the treaty which concerned us, was the 
maintenance of the kingdom of Naples to Charles vi., and the 
cession of Sicily to Victor Amedeus, Duke of Savoy.^ But it is 

^ Victor Amedeiis ii., Duke of Savoy, Prince Eugene, he commanded the troops 

born 1665, married Anne, daughter of opposed to him during the war. His second 

Philip Duke of Orleans, brother of Louis daughter, Marie Louise, married her cousin 

XIV. of France. Though the cousin of Philip v. of Spain, who, at the Peace of 



14 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OP NAPLES. 1718. 

important for the history of the future destinies of these two king- 
doms to learn, that tlie Crown of Spain was confirmed to Philip v. 
Soon after the conclusion of the Peace of Utrecht, King Victor 
Amedeus went to Palermo to enter upon the possession of his 
kingdom, and to enjoy the homage of his subjects and the new 
title of king. He arrived in October, was joyfully welcomed by 
the people, and received the kingdom from the hands of the Mar- 
quis de Los Balbases, viceroy for Philip v. ; he was crowned, with 
his consort, in the ensuing December, and returned to Piedmont, 
leaving the island garrisoned by his troops, and obedient to the 
rule of the viceroy, Hanibal Maffei, a native of Mirandola. 

But as the Emperor Charles vi. had not been invited to join 
the Peace of Utrecht, and therefore the war in Spain, Italy, and 
Flanders continued during the whole of the year I7l3, a new treaty 
of peace became necessary, which was concluded at Rastadt in 1 714: 
by this the Emperor retained Flanders, the States of Milan, Sar- 
dinia, the kingdom of Naples, and the Presidii of Tuscany. Count 
Daun returned as viceroy to Naples. 

The tranquillity of Europe appeared secure, as the ambition of 
the more powerful sovereigns had been satisfied, and the hopes of 
weaker princes annihilated, when, three years later, in 1717, a 
powerful Spanish fleet took possession of Sardinia, without any 
motive for war, challenge, or quarrel. When the first surprise had 
subsided, fresh armies were prepared in Germany and France; but 
the same Spanish fleet suddenly attacking Sicily, seized on Pa- 
lermo, from whence the viceroy of Amedeus fled ; they stormed 
Catania, and blockaded Messina, Trapani, and Melazzo ; these 
attacks were conducted by the Marquis de Leyde, a Fleming by 
birth, and general of Philip v. 

The representatives of the German Empire, of Piedmont, France, 
and England, met in London in 1718, to consult in what manner 
they should oppose the perfidy and grasping ambition of Spain. 
By conditions, at that time kept secret, it was agreed to attack the 
Spanish armies and navies in various parts at once ; a large num- 
ber of English vessels with imperial soldiers on board, anchored off 

Utrecht, ceded his claim to Sicily to his assuming the title of King of Sardinia, 
father-in-law. In 1720, he was deprived of He abdicated in fiwour of his son Charles 
Sicily and received the island of Sardinia, Emanuel iii. 1730, and died 1732. 



1720. CHARLES OF BOURBON. 15 

the Port of Messina, and 10,000 Neapolitans and Germans en- 
camped at Reggio, destined to deliver the citadel of Messina, and 
the Fort of San Salvatore, which were closely besieged by the 
intrepid Leyde. The English Admiral Byng gained two victories 
in succession over the Spanish Admiral Castagnedo, and ships 
were captured, others sunk, and only a few escaped or were dis- 
persed. The city of Messina, though in the possession of the Spa- 
niards, was invested ; the Spanish camps were menaced ; but the 
Fleming, though both besieged and besieging, and though obliged 
to provide for attack as well as for defence, stormed the two for- 
tresses, and in the presence of the conqueror Byng, and of the 
Emperor's camp, boldly raised the standard of Spain upon these 
castles. Leaving the city well provided, he then hastened to press 
the siege of Melazzo. 

A fresh supply of ships and troops of the enemies of Spain arrived 
in Sicily (1720). They gained possession of Palermo, raised the 
siege of Melazzo, and recovered Messina. The inhabitants, who 
had sided with Leyde while successful, now changed with fortune, 
and joined the emperor; everything boded ill for Spain. The 
Spanish general, fearing the worst, prepared to abandon the island: 
Spain, harassed by war in other quarters, and unequal to cope 
with so many powerful enemies, consented to the secret terms of 
the hostile league, and accepted in compensation for the serious 
losses she had to suffer at the present moment, a trifling advantage 
for the future. By this peace, Sicily w^as given to the emperor, 
King Amedeus receiving a poor compensation in Sardinia, and 
the succession to the Duchies of Parma, Piacenza, and Tuscany 
was assigned to Philip v. ; the princes who were the actual rulers 
of these countries, besides the Pope, who pretended to the domi- 
nion of Parma, and King Amedeus, were discontented with the 
terms, but, from their poverty, could only vent their displeasure in 
lamentations and protests. General Leyde embarked for Spain 
with his soldiers, accompanied by 500 of the islanders, who volun- 
tarily expatriated themselves, fearing the anger and vengeance of 
the conqueror, for having remained faithful to the Spanish interest. 
Such is the miserable fate of all who meddle in the quarrels of 
kings, well deserved if they do not act in the support of political 

inciples, but from motives of ambition or the love of gain. 



I 



16 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1713. 

The two Sicilies were united under the empire of Charles vi., 
who appointed the Duke of Monteleone viceroy in the island, and 
Count Gallas in Naples, in the place of Count Daun who was 
recalled. Cardinal Scrotembach succeeded at the death of Gallas. 
Clement xi. died in the year 1721, and Innocent xiii. was elected; 
the new Pope, perceiving that the fortune and power of Philip v. 
were on the decline, did not hesitate to concede, as demanded, the 
investiture of the two kingdoms to Charles vi. Benedict xiii. 
succeeded Innocent in the year 1724. 

Nothing remarkable occurred in Naples during the ten fol- 
lowing years, from 1720 to 1730, except earthquakes, volcanic 
eruptions, floods, and other destructive phenomena. But, in the 
year 1724, so horrible an act was perpetrated in the neighbouring 
island of Sicily, and occasioned such a sensation throughout the 
kingdom, that I feel it a duty to relate what occurred ; and the 
more so, that I may confirm the Neapolitans in their just detesta- 
tion of the Inquisition, now that by the alliance of the priesthood 
with an absolute government, superstition, hypocrisy, and a false 
veneration for antiquity, are driving them back towards times and 
manners they abhor ; and when they see this tremendous Office, 
called holy, revived in not a few places in Italy, — as yet exercised 
with silent discretion, though (should fortune prove favourable) 
ready to be turned to as sanguinary and cruel a purpose as in the 
dark ages of universal ignorance. 

Brother Romualdo, a lay member of the Augustine Order, and 
Sister Gertrude, attached to the order of St. Benedict, were arraigned 
before the tribunal of the Holy Office in the year 1699. The 
former was accused of Quietism,^ Molinism,^ and heresy ; the 
latter of pride, vanity, temerity, and hypocrisy. Both were 
insane : for the friar, while uttering many things contrary to the 
dogmas or practices of Christianity, declared he had been thus 
taught by angels, the messengers of God, with whom he had 
spoken ; and that he was himself a prophet, and infallible ; and 
Gertrude maintained she had held intercourse in tlie spirit and in 

^ Quietism. The doctrine of a sect of as it was first taught by a Spanish priest, 

Christians, who taught man's chief duty Michael Molinos, in the seventeenth cen- 

was the contemplation and love of God. tury. He died 1G9G. 

'^ Molinism. The doctrine of Quietism, 



1724. CHARLES OF BOURBON. 17 

the body with God, that she was pure and holy, and made otlier de- 
clarations, equally indicative of a disturbed reason. The inquisitors 
and theologians attached to the Holy Office, had frequent disputes 
with these unliappy beings, who, like all insane persons, obstinately 
adhered to their opinions, and repeated their ravings and heresies. 
Shut up in prison, the woman for twenty-five years, and the friar 
for eighteen (he passed the remaining seven in penance in the 
monastery of San Domenico), they endured the severest torments, 
torture, the scourge, hunger and thirst, until at last the longed-for 
hour of execution arrived. The inquisitors had condemned both 
to death by sentences .'confirmed by the Bishop of Albarucin, resi- 
dent at Vienna, and by the Grand Inquisitor of Spain ; obedient 
to whom, the devout Emperor Charles vi. ordered the act to be 
executed with the solemnity of an auto-da-fe. In the sentence of 
condemnation, the virtues, gentleness, and clemency of the Holy 
Tribunal were set forth, and their humanity and mercy held up in 
contrast with the malignant spirit, impiety, and contumacy of the 
two culprits. The necessity of maintaining the discipline of the 
most sacred Catholic religion was further insisted on, in order to 
efface the scandal and vindicate the indignation of Christendom. 

On the 6th April of that year, 1724, in the square of San. 
Erasmo, the largest in the city of Palermo, preparations were made 
for the execution. A high cross was elevated in the centre, 
painted white, and enclosed on either side by a pile, each about 
ten braccia^ in height, covered by a wooden scaffolding like a stage, 
which was reached by steps ; a stake was driven into the floor 
above each pile ; altars were erected in diff'erent parts of the 
square, and richly decorated galleries were arranged in the form 
of an amphitheatre, facing the cross. In the midst of them rose 
a more elevated building of larger dimensions, very elaborately 
ornamented with velvet, gilt ribbons, and the emblems of religion. 
This was intended for the inquisitors ; the remaining galleries 
were for the viceroy, the archbishop, and the senate; for the 
nobles, clergy, magistrates and ladies ; while the people stood 
below. At the first dawn of day the bells sounded to penance ; the 
processions then commenced, composed of friars, priests, and con- 
fraternities, who, passing through all the streets of the city, walked 

^ Braccia, nearly two feet. 
1 YOL. I. B 



18 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1724. 

round the cross, and ranged themselves in the places assigned 
them. The square was crowded from daybreak, and the galleries 
were filled with spectators, who arrived in parties, or singly, and all 
attired in gala dresses, to witness the sacrifice : the space below was 
likewise filled with the people, waiting the arrival of the victims. 

It was already past two in the afternoon, and tables laden with 
provisions, filled tlie galleries, changing the scene prepared for 
gloom into one of festivity. In the midst of this gaiety, the first 
who arrived was the unhappy Gertrude, bound upon a car, in a 
dark dress, her hair dishevelled, and a tall paper cap on her head, 
on which her name was inscribed, with paintings representing the 
flames of hell. The car, drawn by black oxen, and preceded by 
a long procession of friars, was escorted by a convoy of princes and 
dukes, mounted on superb horses ; and followed by the three father 
inquisitors riding white mules. On the arrival of the cortege, the 
prisoner was consigned to other Dominican friars and theologians 
for the last pretended forms of conversion ; another cortege then 
appeared, resembling the first, conveying Brother Romualdo ; and 
the inquisitors took their seats in the magnificent tribune pre- 
pared for them. 

These formalities being ended, the obstinacy of the culprits was 
proclaimed in a loud voice, and their sentences read in Latin ; 
the woman was the first to ascend the scaffold ; and the two 
friars w'ho acted as executioners, bound her to the stake, and set 
fire to her hair, which had been previously anointed with resi- 
nous ointments, that the flames might continue burning round her 
head ; after setting fire to her clothes, which were also impreg- 
nated with resin, they left her. The unhappy woman, now alone 
upon the scaflbld, whilst groaning with pain, and the flames burn- 
ing around and beneath her, fell along with the cover of the pile on 
wdiich she was standing ; and having disappeared bodily, the spec- 
tators were still made aware of her existence by her shrieks ; while 
flames and smoke concealed the insulted cross of Christ. Brother 
Romualdo perished on the otlier pile, in the same manner, after 
having witnessed the torments of his companion. Among the 
spectators might be remarked a dingy, melancholy group of 
twenty-six prisoners of the Holy Office, who had been forced to 
witness the ceremony ; they alone, among the crowd, wept over 



1730. CHARLES OF BOURBON. 1 

the scene, — for the remainder, either from cowardice, ignorance, a 
false idea of religion, or abject superstition, applauded the in- 
famous sacrifice. The three inquisitors were Spanish monks. I 
refrain from naming those who volunteered their assistance, that I 
may not disgrace their descendants, who have, we may trust, im- 
proved since the days of their fathers ; but they are registered in 
other pages, for public virtue rarely, and still more rarely public 
vice, can remain hidden. Antonio Mongitore^ describes this scene 
in a thick volume, and both by his words and opinions shows him- 
self a devout partisan of the Holy Office. Praised as he has been 
for his other works, and, above all, for the Bibliotheca Siciliana, 
he is a glaring instance how the mild character of a student in 
the pursuit of literature, can be perverted by the errors of his 
times, and by the want of toleration peculiar to his position as a 
canon of the cathedral. 

In the year 1730, there were indications of a renewal of 
hostilities ; for France, Spain, and England, incited by the secret 
intrigues of Hanover, were preparing armies and fleets, and the 
Emperor Charles vi., warned of their designs, sent a fresh supply 
of soldiers to reinforce the States of Milan and the Sicilies. That 
same year, when, by the death of Benedict xiii., Clement xii 
ascended the Papal throne, the celebrated king, Victor Amedeui 
resigned his kingdom to his son Charles Emanuel, and retired into 
private life in the castle of Chambery. Some years previously, a 
greater monarch, Philip v., had relinquished his kingdom, to pass 
his life in devout exercises (as he professed) in the castle of San Ilde- 
fonso ; but after eight months, upon the death of his son Louis, 
he resumed the crown, and governed as feebly and with as much 
duplicity as before. Amedeus likewise soon grew weary of his 
retirement at Chambery, and wished to resume the government, 
but he was opposed in his project by the king, his son, who soon 
afterwards sent him a prisoner to the castle of Rivoli, and thence 
to that of Moncalieri, where he died miserably in confinement, 
denied the sight of his friends, and even of his wife and son. 

* Antonio Mongitore, born at Palermo, of the Holy Office. He died 1 743. Hie 

1663; he entered the priesthood, was made life was devoted to antiquarian research, 

a canon of the cathedral, and became one and he published many works. 
of the judges of the diocese, and councillor 

■ 



20 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1724. 

After two years' preparations (1732-35), the Infant of Spain, 
Don Charles, arrived in Italy to show himself to his future subjects, 
the people of Tuscany, Parma, and Piacenza. A singular cere- 
mony took place in the royal palace of Spain at his departure ; 
tlie day he was to leave, King Philip and his Queen Elizabeth 
received him seated upon their thrones, in the presence of the 
whole Court ; and the Infant Don Charles, as was the custom of 
his family, knelt down before his father, in token of filial respect, 
while Philip, making the sign of a large cross over his son's head, 
raised him to his feet, girded on a sword, richly adorned with gold 
and gems, and addressed him in these words : " This is the sword 
which Louis xiv., ray grandfather, placed at my side, when he sent 
me to conquer these realms of Spain ; may it bring thee entire 
success, without the calamity of a long war." Kissing him on the 
cheek, he then dismissed him. Soon after the departure of Don 
Charles, five large French armies, conducted by the old Marshal 
Villars, descended by as many routes into Italy, and renewing the 
war in Lombardy, met with signal success. Upon this a power- 
ful fleet of Spanish ships w^eighed anchor from the ports of Leghorn 
and Longone, and an army collected in the States of Parma and 
Tuscany, either nominally or actually under the direction of the 
Infant, with the Count di Montemar as his adviser, approached 
Naples in a menacing attitude. I will defer the account of this 
enterprise, which was the commencement of the new State, to a 
future chapter. It is here sufiicient to mention, that before the end 
of the first half of the year 1735, all the country and inhabitants 
of the Two Sicilies had submitted to King Charles of Bourbon. 

In the events of past history to which I have hitherto re- 
ferred, I have only described the governments of Naples and Sicily 
as they were bandied from dynasty to dynasty, by wars and con- 
quests ; were I to pause here, the reader would be presented with 
nothing but scenes of violence on the part of the great, and of en- 
durance in the people ; but the growth of civilisation amidst such 
frequent changes of government, or rather the condition of the 
laws, tribunals, finances, and administration, as well as the state 
of the army and church, and the tenure of fiefs, are matters of 
greater importance. It is indeed impossible to give their his- 
tory from beginning to end, which would exceed the limits of this 



1734. 



CHARLES OF BOURBON. 21 



work, and the ability of the writer, but I may liere state wliat 
they were in the year 1734, when Charles of Bourbon ascended 
the throne of tlie Sicilies. 

Witli the fall of the Roman empire fell its laws, and they were 
followed by the written laws of the Lombards. When this people 
were vanquished by the Normans, their laws acquired greater 
authority, because retained by an enemy and conqueror. Though 
at first scattered, they were subsequently collected in one volume ; 
but whosoever may chance to read the copy preserved in the 
archives of the Trinita della Cava, must not expect to find a 
methodical arrangemeht of legislative matter, since the division into 
codes is an invention of modern science. The laws of Rome con- 
tinued valid with the clergy, but, though preserved by the learned 
for their wisdom and traditional worth, were not in force under 
the secular government, where the king gave his commands, the 
judges pronounced sentence, and the claims of the citizens were 
decided according to the book of the Lombard laws. 

Though the authority of this last-mentioned code declined, after 
the Pandects of Justinian had been read and commented on in 
the schools of Italy, it was still in use, and was increased by the 
addition of the Norman laws : Roger added thirty-nine, William i. 
twenty-one, William ii. three, all under the name of Constitutions. 
When the kingdom passed to the house of Swabia, Frederic, desir- 
ous that his laws, united with those of the Normans, should be 
promulgated, collected them in one book, called after him, ** The 
Constitutions of Frederic ii.'' The compilation of written laws 
was afterwards increased by chapters added by the race of Anjou, 
and by the Pragmatic Sanctions^ of the Arragonese sovereigns, and, 
when the kingdom became a Spanish, and afterwards a German 
province, many laws under the designation of Pragmatic Sanctions, 
were issued by the kings of Spain, the emperors of Germany, and 
by their viceroys. Amidst all these changes of government and 
legislation, several cities continued to govern themselves by usage. 

When Charles of Bourbon, therefore, began his reign, there were 
eleven modes of legislation in existence, by all of which the king- 

^ Pragmatic Sanctions. Solemn Decrees ; ant question was decided by the despotic 
a term used in several decrees famous in verdict of the sovereign, 
history, but always applied when an import- 




22 



HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 



1 



dom was governed ; some were the decrees of princes, others 
ancient laws which had not yet been revoked, and others again 
the authority of usage. They were the ancient Roman law, the 
Lombard, the Norman, the Swabian, that of Anjou, the Arragonese, 
the Spanish Austrian, the German Austrian, the Feudal, the Ec- 
clesiastical, by which the vast number of persons, and extensive 
property attached to the Church were governed ; and the Greek, 
consisting in usages practised in Naples, Amalfi, Gaeta, and other 
cities which had at one time been ruled by officials appointed 
by the emperors of the East ; besides other usages in Bari, and 
places which traced their origin to Lombard grants. These nu- 
merous modes of legislation neutralized one another, and the rights 
of the citizen, as well as the decisions of the magistrates, were 
neither in accordance with rules nor any fixed law. 

The magistracies of the kingdom consisted of one judge in every 
community, one tribunal in every province, three in the cities, one 
council called the Collateral Council, to assist the viceroy, and 
another called the Italian or Supreme Council,^ which resided with 
the king in Spain, when the Spanish monarchs ruled in Naples, 
and in Germany when the Germans reigned. As the forms of 
procedure established under Joanna ii. were too meagre for their 
purpose, any deficiency was supplied by usage, or still more fre- 
quently by the arbitrary will of the viceroy ; and as the power of 
the magistrates was not clearly defined, any doubt respecting their 
competency was decided by the command of the Sovereign. Thus 
matters appertaining to tlie judicature became involved in those 
of the administration ; right and power, the magistrate and the 
government, were often confounded. In short, the ignorance of 
an age in whicli subjects believed themselves the lawful servants 
of their superiors, and rulers did not esteem it an injustice to arro- 
gate to themselves supreme power, produced an excess of servility 
on the one side, and despotism on the other : this system was dis- 
played in its greatest deformity in the way in which trials were 



^ Supreme Council of Italy. The affairs 
of the Italian provinces were directed by a 
Supreme Council residing at Madrid, though 
including, besides Spaniards, several natives 
of Italy. Under this Board stood the four 



resident Viceroys of Naples, Milan, Sicily, 
and Sardinia, who were invariably Spanifsh 
nobles. — Italy and the Italian Islands. 
W. Spalding, vol. ii. p. 267. 



1734. CHARLES OF BOURBON. 23 

conducted, and in the decisions of the Judges. The disorders here 
enumerated created a confused and corrupt court of law. Any- 
one from tlie lowest of the people, by assuming the lawyer's gown, 
could call himself an advocate, and was admitted to plead in 
defence of the rights or persons of the citizens ; and as neither 
study, examination, practice, nor diplomas were requisite for the 
exercise of this lucrative profession, the importunate swarm of 
lawyers multiplied daily. 

I must now turn to the finances, one of the most important 
branches of government, and which modern science endeavours 
to place under such regulations, and to guide by such philosophical 
maxims, as to enable it to maintain the power of the state, and 
the prosperity of civilized life ; but in the times of which I write, 
it was usual to employ indiscriminate violence, setting aside 
order, moderation, and justice ; which, while ruining private indi- 
viduals, was no benefit to society. All property was taxed, as 
well as articles of consumption, and everything which indicated 
wealth, even dress, food, and the necessaries of life without limit 
or reason, the only object considered being, how to raise the largest 
sum. Under the Normans and Swabians, and during the least 
oppressive reigns, of William the Good, of Frederic ii., and Man- 
fred, the barons, clergy, and chief persons in every city, met in 
Parliament, and fixed the sum to be paid into the exchequer ; but 
this exercise of political rights became less frequent under the 
Houses of Anjou and Arragon, and ceased entirely under the sordid 
rule of the viceroys, who had reason to fear assemblies of men, 
and interchange of thought ; or if the rulers sometimes confided 
the task of proposing new taxes to the municipal corporations 
(Seggi),^ it was only a stratagem to avoid the danger and obloquy 
of the hated law. After every imaginable tax had been imposed, 
and yet neither their rapacity satiated, nor the necessities of the 

^ Seggi, the municipal corporation in purity of patrician blood indispensable to 

each of the principal towns. These Seggi, a title of admission. We discover appli- 

Sedili, or Piazze, were of extreme antiquity, cations by the Crown to the Seggi as early 

and were modelled on councils of the same as 1449, and there is no record of their 

sort in the metropolis. Every city had having refused to vote any tax asked them, 

aeveral, all of which (except one in Naples, — Italy and the Italian Islands. W. 

and in a few other places) were composed Spalding, 
usively of noble members, and held 



^^ch 



24 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1734. 

State provided for, they resorted to extreme measures, dissipating 
the property of the Crown, selling titles of nobility and offices, 
converting the most eminent cities into fiefs, mortgaging the future 
revenues of the exchequer, or alienating them in a manner called, 
by a Spanish term, Arrendamenti.^ 

The administration of the communal land and revenues was 
not better provided for than that of the finances ; by the consti- 
tutions of Frederic ii., and therefore from a very early period, 
they had been confided to a syndic and two eletti, chosen by the 
people in so general a Parliament, that none were excluded from 
voting, except women, children, the debtors of the community, and 
those rendered infamous by a judicial sentence, or by their lives. 
They met on a certain day in summer in the public square, and 
the choice was determined by acclamation, as it was seldom neces- 
sary to count the names in order to ascertain who was elected 
This franchise having no parallel in the other institutions of the 
country, and being in advance of the political education of the 
people, was a source of license and tumults. Only two forms of ad- 
ministration were recognised ; that of the municipality and that of 
the Sovereign ; the numberless relations of municipality to mu- 
nicipality, to circles, districts, and provinces, were neglected, or 
provided for by peculiar arbitrary rules. The administration of the 
kingdom, in which the supreme will of the Sovereign was neither 
led, regulated, nor controlled, by any code, wanted that necessary 
guidance of law which is the sure road to political freedom. Public 
works were few, and the money which under a well-regulated 
government would have been expended for the common benefit, 
was turned to the profit of the exchequer ; the only new buildings 
were convents, churches, and other religious edifices, or monuments 
of regal splendour. The arts, therefore, were few and unimportant, 
and there was only one road in the kingdom, that to Rome. The 
commerce carried on by sea with foreign nations was insignificant, 
and there was no traffic by land ; the rivers overflowed their beds, 
the woods were grown into wild forests, agriculture was in a pri- 
mitive condition, the flocks and herds wandered over the country, 
and the population was wretched and decreasing. 

* Arrendamenti, the purchase made by private individuals of the right of collect- 
ing the public revenue. 



1734. CHARLES OP BOURBON. 25 

By a strange aberration in the history of the human intel- 
lect, letters and the sciences revived in the midst of all this 
political misery ; not, indeed, from any care on the part of the 
Government, for in this, as in all that was beneficial, the rulers 
were indolent, or opposed to progress, but by a fortuitous, or rather 
providential circumstance, the birth of several men of great genius 
about the same time. Domenico Aulisio,i Pietro Giannone,^ Gaetano 
Argento,^ Giovan Vincenzo Gravina,** Nicola Capasso,^ Niccolb 
Cirillo,^ and more than it would be possible to name, were born 
towards the end of the seventeenth, and lived in the first half of 
the eighteenth century ; a light to their own and succeeding ages. 
At this period flourished Giovan Battista Yico,^ a marvel of learn- 
ing, but whose fame was posthumous, because while admired by 
all, he was not fully comprehended by any ; as years pass on, he 
is better understood and more honoured, a proof tliat the obscurity 
in which he wrapt his meaning was either intentional, or that his 
works must wait their full development for other times, and a 
course of study more in harmony with his theories. 

The military institutions were even worse than the civil. No 

^ Domenico Aulisio, celebrated for his questions which down to him were con- 
acquaintance with oriental languages, his- sidered to he resolved, or to be insoluble ; 
tory, and numismatics ; born at Naples, who has carried the investigations of a cri- 
1679, died 1717. titism the most intrepid into documents 

^Pietro Giannone, the historian of by all antiquity respected; who never bent 

Naples; born 1G76, died 1758. himself before established prejudice; who 

' Gaetano Argento, a Calabrian lawyer has accomplished the double enterprise of 

and magistrate of great learning, and a destroying and reconstructing universal 

patron of literary men. The friend of Gian- history; who has treated upon all the 

none. sciences without being precisely acquainted 

* Giovan Vincenzo Gravina, a critic, with any one, and who bequeathed to each 
moralist, and poet; born 1664, died 1718. of them some fecund teaching; the man 

* Nicola Capasso, a poet, who wrote in who has almost divined all the discoveries 
the Neapolitan dialect; born 1671, died of the nineteenth century ; who, appertain- 
1746. ing to an age and acountry wherein thought 

' Niccolb Cinllo, a learned physician, was never free, seemed to ignore that the 
Fellow of the Royal Society of London saying of everything to ever}'body was to 
■when Newton was President; bom 1671, expose himself to be comprehended by no- 
died 1734. body ; the man whose genius recalls the 

^ Giovan Battista Vice, a jurist, philo- mighty int^.llects of Plato and Aristotle, 

sopher, historian, and critic; bom 1668, deserves to be followed step by step in the 

died 1744: " The man who has anticipated development of his glorious intelligence, 

by a century the movements of niind to- and in the vicissitudes of his long and un- 

wards modem sciences, who has raised up happy life.'-GLYDDON'sTjrpcs of J/antinrf. 



VOL. I. 



■ 



26 



HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 



1734. 



means were too lawless to be made use of in the levy of sol^ 
diers. Bribery and cori*uption were not spared ; a selection was 
made from condemned criminals and other prisoners ; vagabonds 
were seized, and the vassals of feudal lords forced to serve at 
the arbitrary bidding of the barons ; the only fair means by which 
to recruit an army, namely, selection by lot, was not employed. 
The worst characters of the city were thus chosen to fill the most 
honourable profession the citizen can hold, and were sent to dis- 
tant wars in Italy, or still more frequently into Spain, where, in 
the Spanish uniform, under a foreign standard, they fought for a 
name and glory not their own. While Neapolitans were engaged 
in a perpetual and inglorious war, Naples was sunk in the torpor 
of sluggish servitude ; there was no system of militia within the 
country, which was guarded by foreign soldiers, at a time when 
the natives were obliged to submit to a foreign discipline in the 
land of the stranger ; the arts of war learnt abroad, were useless 
at home, and the blood and sweat of our countrymen shed no 
glory on us : Thus military discipline, military habits, exercises, 
tradition, fame, and sentiment were wanting, and the name of 
soldier, so honoured in other lands, was in Naples associated with 
the idea of suifering, and was held in abhorrence. 

Feudalism itself had lost the sense of honour. Its decline 
under the rule of the viceroys, was not caused by laws, nor by 
any intention to debase its power, but by its own corruption, and 
the depravity of the rulers. The barons, no longer warriors, 
and neither the props nor the antagonists of thrones, had become 
careless of those deeds which excite admiration in a generous 
nobility ; they were lazy and domineering within their castles, 
where they revelled in the tyranny they exercised over degenerate 
vassals. The avaricious viceroys meantime sold fiefs, titles, and 
high offices, and raised the lowest people to the baronage pro- 
vided they were rich, thus degrading the feudal dignity. On thov 
arrival of King Charles of Bourbon, therefore, the feudal land- 
holders, though powerful in the eye of the law, were in themselves 
base, corrupt, hated and feared ; not feared for their greatness, but 
for their crimes. 

We have yet to speak of the Church. Whoever would desire 
to give a true and detailed account of the lives and actions of the 



1734. 



CHARLES OF BOURBON. 27 



Popes, must include the political history of all Italy ; for that of 
the Pontificate is closely interwoven with wars, treaties, revolu- 
tions, changes of government, and with the arrest and even retro- 
grade movement of civilisation. In the kingdom of Naples alone, 
the intrigues of the Popes first impeded and then extinguished 
all the political advantages conferred by the Swabian race ; the 
Popes rendered the evils inflicted by the race of Anjou twofold, 
and nourished the civil wars under the Arragonese monarchs. 
Nicolas III. conspired in the Sicilian Vespers ; Innocent viii. 
planned the rebellion and the baronial war against Ferdinand and 
Alphonso ; Alexander vi. did not disdain to conspire with Baja- 
zet, the Turkish sultan, to disturb the peace of the Christian king- 
dom of the Sicilies, and during the long course of the viceregal 
government, the Popes kindled discord now among the rulers, and 
now among their subjects, whichever best served to advance the 
monstrous pretensions of the Church. 

It is a decree of nature, or rather of Divine Providence, that 
those who prepare evil for others, fall into the snare them- 
selves ; and the worst of these popes were likewise the most 
miserable and unfortunate. The Papacy suffered great adversities 
during this period ; hardly had it recovered from the divisions and 
scandal of the schism, when the doctrines of Luther, and the Re- 
formation followed, with the unhappy wars and imprisonment of 
Clement vii., the refusal of the kings of Christendom to accept 
all the acts of the Council of Trent, or the bull of Coena Domini ; 
the revival of the so-called monarchy of Sicily ; the revolutions of 
Naples caused by the Inquisition ; the dismissal of the nuncios, 
and the abolition of the Court of Nunciature ; in short, the open 
revolt of the civil power, and of public opinion, against the domi- 
nation of the Church. 

The pontifical pride would have been still further humbled, had 
it not been supported in its decline by new orders of monks, and 
by its enormous wealth. As there is no census belonging to this 
period, many facts, important to history, remain unknown. It 
would be necessary to learn the exact number of ecclesiastics, and 
the amount of their possessions, in order to estimate the influence of 
the priesthood over the people ; but the most diligent research and 
long study have proved insufficient for this purpose, because the 



28 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1734 

writers of that time, if devoted to the Church, ashamed of her ill 
gotten wealth, gave a false statement, and those who were hei 
enemies endeavoured to increase the scandal by exaggerating the 
truth. Between these contradictory reports, I will offer the mosi 
probable conjecture. In the kingdom of Naples alone, the ecclesi- 
astics numbered about one hundred and twelve thousand ; namely. 
22 archbishops, 116 bishops, 56,500 priests, 31,800 friars, and 
23,600 nuns. Therefore in a state containing four millions oi 
inhabitants, the ecclesiastics were in proportion to the population 
twenty-eight to every thousand ; an excess which was injurious tc 
morals, because they were under the vow of celibacy, and to in- 
dustry and national wealth, as they were all idle. The city oi 
Naples alone maintained 16,500. 

The most cautious writers reckon the possessions of the Church 
at two-thirds of the property of the country, exclusive of the royal 
domains ; while others (who, however, maintain that they are 
better informed) affirm that four parts out of five were enjoyed h 
the Church ; but both statements are exaggerated. 

At the time of the arrival of King Charles of Bourbon, 
Apostolic See claimed supremacy over kings and kingdoms, as 
arrogantly as in the times of Gregory vii., but as its moral influence 
had diminished, this was only supported by the number of eccle- 
siastics, and by their inordinate wealth. 

Briefly to recapitulate the matter contained in this chapter: 
The temporal power of the Church was as strong as ever ; reli- 
gious faith as great, or greater than formerly, but faith in the 
ministers of religion and the pontiff weakened ; the feudal sys- 
tem entire, but the feudal lords contemptible in the eyes of the 
people ; there was no army, and the civil administration was frau- 
dulent and full of errors ; the finances were exhausted, poor at the 
present moment, and with the prospect of becoming still poorer ; 
the codes of law were confused, and the tribunals filled by a vast 
assemblage of intriguing and corrupt lawyers ; though the Nea- 
politans were the slaves of many prejudices, they were opposed to 
the fallen government and desirous of better. Therefore necessity, 
the opinions and desires of the people, a new dynasty, and the 
interests of the new king, as well the genius of the age, all invited 
reforms. 



tffi' 



CHARLES OF BOURBON. 29 



CHAPTER 11. 

CONQUEST OF THE SICILIES BY THE INFANT CHARLES OF BOURBON. 

Charles, a son of the prosperous and arrogant House of Spain, 
was born to Philip v. by Elizabeth Farnese, in an age of wars 
and conquests, in the year 1716. The eldest child by the second 
marriage, he was without a kingdom. His haughty mother, 
who could ill brook the lesser appanage of her sons, and who, by 
her superior intellect, ruled the state and the king, who was fear- 
less in disasters, yet knew how to bend before adversity, succeeded 
by bold wars and wise treaties, in obtaining for Charles the ducal 
crowns of Tuscany and Parma. In 1733, her hopes were re- 
awakened,^ and she caused armies and fleets to be prepared to 
conquer the Sicilies. The youthful Charles was enjoying the 
pleasures of sovereignty in Parma, when he received intimation by 
official letters from Philip, and by private letters from the queen, 
of new schemes, and of new and powerful agents to insure their 
success. Spain, France, and the King of Sardinia were leagued 
together against the Empire ; a numerous French army, under the 
direction of Berwick was crossing the Rhine ; French and Sardinian 
troops, under Villars, were descending into Lombardy ; Spanish 
infantry was disembarking in Genoa, and cavalry and horses were 
on their way to Antibes ; while a powerful and numerous fleet 
ruled the seas of Italy. The Spanish forces were to be under the 
direction of the Count di Montemar, but, for the honour and dignity 
of the name, were placed under the supreme command of the Infant 

^ By the war in Europe for the succes- father of Marie Leczinski, queen of Louis 

sion to the Polish throne, contested by xv. of France, cousin to Phih'p of Spain. 

Augustus, Elector of Saxony, son of Angus- Elizabeth seized on this pretext to invade 

tus II. King of Poland, whose claims were the Austrian dominions, and obtain Naples 

supported by the Courts of Vienna and for her son Charles. — See Tocquevi!!^, 

St. Petersburg, and Stanislaus Leczinski liegne de Louis xv., vol. i. p. 375 
Palatine of Posen, ex-king of Poland, and 



30 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1734. 

Don Charles. The aim of this enterprise was to vanquish the 
imperial troops beyond the Rhine ; to drive them out of Lombardy, 
and to conquer the Sicilies ; " which, when raised to the rank of 
an independent kingdom/' wrote the mother to her son, " shall 
be thine. Go, then, and conquer, for the fairest crown of Italy 
awaits thee/' 

Charles was at an age (seventeen years) when a man is most 
easily excited by harmless ambition. The son of a king inclined - 
for war, and of a queen insatiable in her thirst for power and 
greatness, eager for a more extensive empire than the Duchies of 
Tuscany and Parma, and abetted in this enterprise, though 
covertly, by Pope Clement xii., he entertained no doubt of his 
right to the Sicilies, which he claimed by the ancient dominion of 
former kings of Spain, as well as by the more recent dominion of 
his father ; and he commiserated the Sicilian people, of whose 
sufferings under the imperial government, exaggerated statements 
were circulated in the palace of Philip ; therefore, right, religion, 
humanity, and his own interests alike urged him to this enterprise. 
The excellent dispositions with which he had been born, had been 
blunted by the contagion of a court ; but kind-hearted by nature, 
and possessed of an understanding above his years, he was just 
and charitable to his subjects, temperate, though aspiring ; affable 
in his manners, with an agreeable countenance, robust and tall in 
person, and fond of manly exercises and the art of war. ^^B 

Whilst the Spanish troops were collecting in the neighbou^B 
hood of Sienna and Arezzo, and the Spanish fleet was trans- 
porting soldiers, horses, and artillery, the Infant assembled a 
council of his most illustrious generals at Parma, to determine the 
plan of the expedition to Naples. After appointing a regency, 
and promulgating ordinances for the good government of his states, 
he departed, followed by the prayers of his people, and amidst all 
manner of rejoicings. Once more at Florence, he visited Gian 
Gastone, the last and declining Grand Duke of the House of Medici, 
passed through Sienna and Arezzo, and arrived in Perugia, in 
March 1734, reviewed all the troops under his command. Sixteen 
thousand infantry and five thousand cavalry from the kingdoms of 
Spain, Italy, and France were there assembled under Montemar ; and 
among the most distinguished officers were the Duke of Berwick, 



1734. CHARLES OP BOURBON. 31 

of the blood of the British kings, the Count de Marsillac, a French- 
man, many grandees of Spain, and the Duke of Eboli ; the Prince 
Caracciolo Torella and Don Niccolo di Sangro, Neapolitans. The 
Infant Charles was seated during this review, and surrounded by 
a numerous court, resplendent in rich dresses and banners. The 
Count di Santo Stefano, formerly preceptor, and now the adviser 
of the Infant, was present, as well as the Prince Corsini, nephew 
of the Pope, the Count de Charny of the blood-royal, and at least 
a hundred dukes and barons ; among them, attired in the simple 
fashion, and with the modest demeanour of a Tuscan, was Ber- 
nardo Tanucci, the year before an advocate in Pisa, and pro- 
fessor of law, who had found favour with Charles, by his high 
attainments in his science,^ and had been appointed auditor of the 
Spanish army, and councillor in the civil affairs of the kingdom. 
The eminence he afterwards attained leads me to add further, that 
he was bom of poor parents, in the year 1698, in Stia, a small town 
of the Casentino ; he was by nature endowed with talents, which 
were improved by study, and was a man of liberal views for his 
times, when to oppose the pretensions of the Papacy was con- 
sidered liberty. Such was Tanucci, in Pisa, and in due time I 
will relate what he became in Naples when raised by Charles to 
the position of prime minister. 

After the review at Perugia, the army sent on towards Naples, 
was well received in the Pontifical States, and was maintained with 
honour. They were met by the Pope's legates, some of whom 
remained with the camp, whilst others were detained near the 
person of Charles. But, although the court of Rome was inclined 
to wish success to Spain, yet, remembering the mutability of fate, 
she concealed her favourable disposition from the ministers of the 
Emperor. Montemar, fearing lest the imperial squadrons should 
come up unexpectedly behind his columns, strengthened his rear 
by a strong body of troops, and proceeded in such an order that he 
could turn the greater part of his forces to any front. 

^ Taniicci attracted the notice of Charles when Tanucci, then a professor at Pisa, 
in the following manner. A soldier of the supported the royal authority, and demon- 
Spanish army committed a crime, and strated the abuse of ecclesiastical immu- 
sought refuge in a church, but was arrested nitics, especially in criminal cases. — ^Je- 
by order of the king. The Tuscan clergy moires Secrets des Cours de Vludie. 
interfered, claiming immunity of the church. 



32 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1734. 

Wlien the report reached Naples, that a Spanish army was 
advancing against the kingdom, the people were agitated by 
new hopes, and the imperial ministers by their fears, while pre- 
parations were made for the reception of the enemy. Giulio Yis- 
conti was viceroy, and Count Francis Traun commanded the forces, 
and as they were unable to conceal the danger, they thought by at 
once declaring it to weaken its effect. The viceroy issued an edict 
proclaiming war; and, summoning the Eletti of the people to meet 
him in the palace, he acquainted them with the hopes, means, and 
intentions of the enemy, as well as his own ; he assured them 
that the fortresses were well supplied, the garrisons strong, troops 
were expected from Sicily, and in still greater numbers from Ger- 
many, an army of twenty thousand imperialists, conducted by the 
valiant Marshal Mercy, was in the rear of the Spanish army, and 
he trusted to the people's attachment to the Emperor, and to the 
Divine aid in a just cause ; he proceeded to entreat the Eletti to 
co-operate with the government, by increasing the store of provi- 
sions, by maintaining the fidelity of the commonalty, and by pay- 
ing the promised donation of six hundred thousand ducats into the— i 
exchequer. The replies of the Eletti were humble yet confident^^ 
and as is usual with the representatives of a discontented people, 
in the midst of present dangers, promised succour at some distant 
time. 

The viceroy convoked another council of war ; Count Traun and 
General CarafFa, a Neapolitan in the pay of the Emperor, were of 
opposite opinions. Traun proposed to distribute the troops in the 
fortresses ; thus force the enemy to several sieges, and by opposing 
detached portions of the army to him in different places, pro- 
tract the war, until the arrival of aid from Germany. Caraffa ad- 
vocated a bolder course ; to diminish the garrisons of Pescara, 
Capua, Gaeta, and Sant' Elmo, to evacuate and demolish the 
remaining fortresses and castles, to form a sufficient army to with- 
stand the enemy, and to await the arrival of succour, while skir- 
mishing in the open field ; thus avoiding any decisive action, 
unless military reasons could be assigned to prove victory certain. 
The opinion of Traun prevailed. The fortresses and castles were 
well garrisoned, a strong camp was formed in the pass of San 
Mignano, protected by entrenchments and batteries, while messea- 



1734. CHARLES OF BOURBON. 33 

gers were sent to entreat the Emperor to hasten his succours. 
Twenty-five thousand Germans were dispersed throughout the 
Two Sicilies, to oppose the united army of Charles, which was 
inferior in numbers, and without the aid of strong places or forti- 
fied positions. 

At the same time, the viceroy sent envoys into the provinces to 
raise troops, to collect treasure and provisions, and by arming 
every city and village, provide for the defence of the kingdom. 
These envoys were selected from the highest nobility. The civic 
guard likewise was organized in the metropolis, and the chief cities 
of the kingdom. A regiment of Neapolitans was raised, composed 
of volunteers, and of men levied at the care and expense of the 
Duke di Monteleone-Pignatelli ; finally, by enlisting as soldiers 
men who had been confined in the prisons, or fugitives guilty of 
crimes, arms were placed in the hands of every Neapolitan subject, 
good or bad. 

Tyrants have the presumption to expect their subjects will serve 
them as slaves, yet defend them as heroes, forgetful that by the 
eternal law of nature, sooner or later, either in their own persons, 
or in those of their descendants, they will pay for the cruelties they 
have practised against the people, at the price of their kingdom 
or their blood. 

All that Visconti had hitherto ordered, though ill-judged and 
inadequate, had not exceeded the limits of law, but worse fol- 
lowed. Some of the nobles who had spoken in council with 
freedom for the good of the State, were, by his order, without trial 
or examination, sent into confinement in Germany. Much of the 
private money which had been deposited in the banks, or paid into 
court, was confiscated to the exchequer, and the city was forced 
by threats to disburse a hundred and fifty thousand ducats. In 
the midst of so much violence practised toward the people, the 
deference shown to ecclesiastics incurred the more odium ; when 
asked to lend their assistance to Government, some gave but little, 
while others wholly refused, yet they were neither forced to pay 
nor reprimanded. The vice-queen, who was in infirm health, de- 
parted with her family to seek shelter in Rome. The archives of 
the monarchy were sent for safety to Gaota and Terracina, and the 
viceroy himself made secret preparations to quit the city. 



34 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1734. 

The Spanish army proceeding onwards, traversed the States 
of Rome, without attempting to enter the city, as the Infant 
had been requested by the Pontiff to avoid all collision with the 
ambassadors of the Emperor ; and passing along by the road of 
Valmontone and Frosinone, they had nearly reached the frontiers 
of the kingdom. Before their arrival, however, more Spanish 
troops had landed on the territory of Naples. Count Clavico, the 
admiral of the Spanish fleet, having weighed anchor from the ports 
of Longone and Leghorn, arrived with a powerful armament before 
the islands of Procida and Ischia, which immediately surrendered ; 
for, these islands being incapable of defence, the garrisons had 
shortly before been withdrawn, by a wise precaution of the Go- 
vernment. The islanders welcomed the conquerors, and swore 
fealty to the Infant : whilst Spanish ships, cruising and fighting 
along the shores bordering the city, roused the hopes or fears of 
those within, according to the side they had embraced. 

The Neapolitans, beginning to hold communication with the 
oflicers on board these ships, a great number of the edicts of 
Philip V. and Charles were dispersed throughout the city. Philip 
announced that he had resolved upon this expedition, for the 
sake of the people, oppressed by the harsh government and 
exactions of the Germans ; he reminded them of the joyful wel- 
come they had formerly given him, and he expressed his confidence 
(in spite of contradictory appearances, and the necessity they were 
under to control their feelings), that his subjects were still faith- 
ful ; but if changed, he was ready to pardon their misdemeanours 
and treason. He promised to confirm the piivileges of the city and 
of the kingdom, and even to increase them ; to abolish the bur- 
dens imposed by the German government, to diminish others, and 
to rule the State as a father ; and he hoped in return, to receive 
from his people the obedience and love of children. Charles swore 
to fulfil the promises made by Philip, and added, that tlie ecclesi- 
astical discipline should continue under the same good regulations 
they had hitherto preserved, and that no tribunal should be added 
to those already in existence. Thus the fear of the abhorred inqui- 
sition vanished, and the interest of the large class of lawyers was 
secured. The edict of Philip was dated from the Pardo, the 7th 
February, that of his son from Civita Castellana, the 14th March. 



1734. CHARLES OF BOURBON. 35 

The Spanish army having passed the frontiers at Liri without 
opposition, lialted one day at Aquino, and three at San Germano. 
The Germans having resolved upon their plan of operations, waited 
the approach of the enemy in tlie fortresses and castles, increasing 
their stores of arms and provisions, and the strength of their 
garrisons. Count Traun with five thousand soldiers, held the 
entrenchments of Mignano ; and the viceroy, while draining the 
country for fresh supplies of money, awaited coming events in a 
state of harassing suspense. An occurrence which shortly followed, 
in the night of the 30th March, accelerated the good fortune of 
the Spanish army and the defeat of their opponents. Some moun- 
taineers of Sesto (a small village), well acquainted with the forests 
which rise above Mignano, offered to conduct the Duke of Eboli at 
the head of four thousand Spaniards, secure and unobserved, to 
the flank and rear of the German lines. The offer being accepted, 
rewards promised, and punishments threatened, the Spaniards 
reached the place, and sent intelligence to the Count di Montemar, 
in order that at the hour predetermined, the attack on the enemy's 
camp in the front, flank, and rear, should commence. The cannon 
of Montemar was to give the signal for the Duke of Eboli to 
advance ; but a vidette of Germans, having discovered the party, 
a speedy messenger was sent to Traun, informing him of the posi- 
tion of the enemy, and exaggerating their numbers. The German 
general, who had believed these mountains inaccessible, having by 
fresh scouts ascertained the truth of the report, broke up his 
camp, spiked the heavy artillery, burnt the carriages, and in the 
night withdrew his troops into the fortress of Capua, abandoning 
in the hurry of his flight the rest of his cannon, baggage and 
materiel, which became the spoil of the Duke of Eboli, who, at 
daybreak, perceiving the entrenchments deserted, descended 
the hill, and sent the joyful intelligence to the commander-in- 
chief 

When the affair of Mignano was reported in Naples, with all 
the exaggerations added by fame and party spirit, the insolent 
populace gained courage ; and as the Spanish fleet always con- 
tinued in sight of the city, the decks covered with soldiers and 
banners, the viceroy perceived the danger of further delay, and 
departed at sunset on the 3d April, with his Germans and 



36 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1734. 

auxiliaries. They escaped like fugitives, without the customary 
honours or proclamations, through the least populous parts of the 
city, in the direction of Avellino, and from thence to Puglia. The 
magistrates and the militia took charge of the city, which was left 
without a head or means of defence. 

After having been six days upon the road, the Infant ar- 
rived at Maddaloni ; thus slowly advancing, on purpose to allow 
time to spread reports of the good discipline of his army, and the 
liberality of the new prince. Queen Elizabeth Farnese, enriched 
by the treasures lately arrived from Mexico, had given part to the 
Infant for the conquest of Naples, and he distributed them in a 
munificent spirit and with a lavish hand among the people : he paid 
for his provisions, bestowed gifts and alms, and, as was customary at 
that time, frequently desired money to be thrown in handfuls amidst 
the multitude. Entering the city of Maddaloni, he was met by a 
numerous body of Neapolitan nobles, who came to offer their ser- 
vices as a guard of honour ; the Eletti of Naples next followed, 
deputed to present him with the keys of the city, wish him suc- 
cess, and promise fidelity and obedience : they concluded their 
harangue by asking the confirmation of the privileges of the city. 
Charles replied in Spanish, and confirmed their privileges in his 
own name, and in that of his father, the King of Spain ; he spent 
the rest of that day in the presence of his people, shooting the 
pigeons which had built their nests in the towers of the ducal 
palace ; and for many consecutive days he was engaged in the 
chase, as he had likewise been at Alifi and San Germane: for 
neither the anxieties of war, nor the cares of government, could 
ever divert him from his favourite passion, which as he grew old, 
hardened the heart of this good prince, often cast a blemish on 
his virtues, and even sometimes exposed his life to danger. 

The following day, the 10th April, he removed his quarters 
from Maddaloni to Aversa, and held a council to consider the 
exigencies of war and of the kingdom. He appointed the Count 
di Charny his lieutenant, to restore order in the cities and in the 
provinces ; commanded that the tribunals, suspended during the 
agitations of war, should resume their functions, and sent Count 
Marsillac with six thousand soldiers to occupy the city, land the 
siege artillery, and lay siege to Baja and three of the forts ; as 



1734. 



CHARLES OF BOURBON. 37 



the fourth (II Carmine), was witliout a garrison, and stood with 
open gates. Other squadrons were encamped on the plains of 
Sessa, to liinder the garrisons of Capua and Gaeta from communi- 
cating with the provinces, or making sorties in search of provisions. 
Lastly, the main body of the army was sent towards Puglia, 
to attack the viceroy, who having united his troops with those 
of General CaraiFa and Prince Pignatelli, and with others arrived 
from Sicily and Trieste, was scouring the provinces with eight 
thousand soldiers. But the Duke of Eboli, who commanded the 
Spaniards, was advancing slowly, waiting the assault of the castles 
within the city, and these obstacles removed, to have more troops 
at his disposal, in case of need. 

After a short siege, a breach being opened, the fort of Baja 
surrendered on the 2.3d of April ; the castle of Sant' Elmo yielded 
on the 25th, and the Castello deir Uovo on the 2d May. The 
Nuovo held out rather longer (only because the assailants changed 
the plan of the siege in the midst of their operations, and invested 
it by another side), but on the 6th May it opened its gates. The 
garrisons of the four castles were all taken prisoners. The Spanish 
army only lost a few in killed and wounded, and was amply com- 
pensated for this loss by the abundant supply of provisions and 
artillery found there, which last they immediately transferred to 
the siege of the larger fortresses. At the time these castles were 
built (useful in their generation), they were adapted to the weapons 
of the period, and to the science of war as it was then commonly 
understood. They are now only a waste of men and of provisions, 
citadels to be turned against the people, and a protection and 
encouragement to tyrants. When, in some future age, the mlers 
of Naples, protected by law, justice, and order, do not fear rebel- 
lion, it will be the wisdom of the government to enlarge the 
small castle of Sant' Elmo, so as to enable it to receive a strong gar- 
rison of 3000 soldiers, and demolish the three remaining castles 
of the city, leaving only the batteries for the defence of the 
harbour. 

The metropolis being now delivered from every vestige of tho 
past government, the Infant went there in regal state on the 
10th May, amidst extraordinary rejoicings of the people, for their 
hopes in tlie new sovereign were great, and their joy was increased 



38 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1734 

by the gold and silver coin which the treasurer scattered pro- 
fusely in the streets of the city. Charles made his entry in the 
morning by the Capuan gate, but being desirous of first returning 
thanks to God for his successes, he descended in the suburban 
church of San Francesco, and remained in that monastery until 
four in the afternoon, when he entered the city, mounted upon a 
charger, and attired in a rich dress, adorned with magnificent 
jewels ; his first care was to visit the cathedral, to receive the 
sacerdotal benediction from the hands of Cardinal Pignatelli, 
to join with devotion in the sacred ceremonies, and to adorn the 
statue of St. Januarius with a costly chain of rubies and dia- 
monds. Having completed this sacred rite, he continued his way 
to the palace, and, passing before the dungeons of the Vicaria* and 
of San Giacomo, he received the keys, in acknowledgment of his 
sovereignty, and commanded the doors to be thrown open, and 
the prisoners set free — an act of magnanimous folly. The city 
was gay with rejoicings ; the troops lining the streets, or placed 
as sentinels round the palace, belonged to the civic guard, and 
fireworks and illuminations lasted throughout the night. 

But the festivities within the city did not put an end to the fear 
of war, which was still raging in Lombardy. The neighbouring 
and rich island of Sicily continued to pay tribute to the Emperor ; 
an imperial army occupied Puglia, and the largest fortresses of 
the kingdom were guarded by numerous garrisons, led by cele- 
brated captains, who defended the standard and dominion of the 
Empire. The viceroy was expecting large reinforcements, and 
it was said that already 6000 Croats were on the eve of arriv- 
ing at Manfredonia, while the people, who now sided with the 
Bourbons, would undoubtedly change with fortune. The state of 
the kingdom appeared favourable for Charles, but was not secure. 
Count Montemar, therefore, having visited Capua and Gaeta, and 
pressed their blockade, marched with fresh troops towards Puglia, 
and, joining the Duke of Eboli, formed an army of 1 2,000 soldiers, 



^ The Vicaria, once the residence of the of the house of Anjou,and the Constitutions 

Norman kings ; contains various courts of Fredenc ii. The dungeons below, still 

ef justice, the archives of the kingdom, in use, are described by recent visitors as 

documents, acts and edicts of the sovereigns loathsome abodes of misery and vice. 



1734. CHARLES OP BOURBON. 39 

infantry and cavalry, supported by a large fleet, which sailed close 
in to shore, accelerating or slackening their speed, and regulating 
their movements by those of the army on land. The Infant, 
meantime, employed the arts of peace to advance his cause ; he 
issued an edict, summoning all the barons of the kingdom to 
swear allegiance to the new government, within a given time, and 
threatening defaulters with punishment. The following day, the 
15th June of the year 1734, he published the decree of Philip v., 
who thereby ceded his ancient and newly-recovered rights to the 
Sicilies, now united into one independent kingdom, to his son 
Charles, born of his happy nuptials with Elizabeth Farnese. The 
new king caused himself to be proclaimed, Charles, by the grace 
of God, King of the two Sicilies and Jerusalem, Infant of Spain, 
Duke of Parma, Piacenza, and Castro, and Hereditary Grand 
Prince of Tuscany. He designed the royal arms, by annexing to 
the national arms of the two Sicilies three golden lilies for the house 
of Spain, six azure for that of Tuscany, and six red balls for that 
of Medici. The civic festivities and the festivals of the Church were 
renewed, and the king added another to the popular games, in the 
Coccagna,! a vast machine, intended to represent the Garden of 
the Hesperides, covered with rich gifts, which, as all were allowed 
to enter, while the access was made intricate and the prize difficult 
to reach, was meant to tempt the cupidity, or call forth the dex- 
terity of the people. Charles, from the roof of the palace, was, 
with youthful ardour, enjoying the sight of the amusing incidents 
of the game, when part of the machinery, which was ill constructed, 
and laden with people, suddenly fell in on one side, dragging down 
all upon it, and crushing those beneath by its weight. Many were 
killed, some hundreds wounded, and the square was soon emptied 
of spectators. The king issued a decree, forbidding similar games 
in future. 

The first act of the sovereign power was to create Bernardo 
Tanucci Minister of Justice. On the arrival of the Spanish army 
in Puglia, the viceroy, alarmed, and really incapable of conduct- 
ing a war, went on board ship and departed, taking with liim 
General Caraffa, accused by Count Traun, and summoned by the 
Emperor to Vienna to be reprimanded and punished — an unwortliy 

* Coccagna, a tall pole from tlie top of ■wliicb prizes are suspended. 



40 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OP NAPLES. 1734. 

return for good advice offered and rejected. Prince Belmonte re- 
mained at the head of the Germans, who'were 8000 soldiers, ad- 
venturers rather than regular troops, from various countries, 
speaking different tongues, and most of them new to discipline and 
war. Belmonte having stationed his troops in the Basilicata and 
Puglia, took up his own quarters in Bari, not from military reasons, 
but for his personal convenience, since there were no strong works 
attached to the walls of that city. On the first appearance of the 
enemy he accordingly quitted it, leaving a small garrison, and 
encamped his army at Bitonto, a stronger city, from its defences 
being in better condition, and from its having a fortified castle, 
and long lines of ditches and walls extending into the country, 
which, though originally meant for agricultural purposes, were not 
the less useful in defence. He placed 1 500 soldiers in the city, 
who were unfit for field warfare, and ranged the rest of his troops 
behind the walls and ditches, posting his cavalry to the right of 
the army, and converting two monasteries, which lay at the 
extremity of his line, close upon his wings, into castles. This 
done, he waited the attack of the enemy. 

The Spaniard also turned the head of his columns from Bari in 
the direction of Bitonto, having more numerous forces, all accus- 
tomed to war, his cavalry, double the number of the enemy, and 
an abundant supply of artillery. Arrived in sight of the Germans, 
he pitched his camp, and the next morning, the 26th May 1734, 
lie caused his men to deploy, extending his lines beyond the 
enemy's front, and opposing infantry to infantry, and horse to 
horse ; the rest of his cavalry, of which he had a superabundance, 
were ordered to scour the country to the right, and be prepared 
for any emergency. He made a trial of the Germans, by attack- 
ing them with a small body of his men ; but, meeting with re- 
sistance, he retreated in disorder, hoping that the enemy, gaining 
courage, would quit their defences in pursuit, but, as Belmonte 
was not deceived by these feints, Montemar trusted for victory to 
open battle, and, advancing his infantry, and urging on his horse, 
he commenced firing, sounding the drums and trumpets to the 
charge. At this sight the German cavalry were seized with panic, 
and, after some little hesitation, broke up in disordered flight to- 
wards Bari, all, except Colonel Villani with his 200 liussars, who. 



1734. CHARLES OF BOURBON. 41 

retreating, but iu order, took the road of the Abruzzi, and found 
shelter in Pescara. The departure of tlie cavalry, so unexpected 
and so rapid, that it had the appearance of desertion rather than 
flight, disconcerted the rest of the troops, and, finally. General 
Belmonte and Prince Strongoli (another general in the pay of the 
Emperor) abandoned the camp, and followed the fugitives. Tlie 
victory of Montemar was clear and decisive, for though the battle 
lasted two more hours by single combats, which were both useless 
and inglorious, it was only because none remained in the imperial 
camp to give the ordpr to surrender. The two monasteries were 
taken by storm ; that same day the city and castle of Bitonto 
yielded, and on the next their example was followed by Bari. A 
thousand Germans had been killed or wounded, and the remainder 
made prisoners. The conqueror obtained in booty their arms, 
artillery, and baggage, while twenty-three standards graced his 
trophy. The Spanish army lost 300, killed and wounded ; the price 
of a kingdom and of the glory of Montemar, gained less by his own 
deserts than by the errors of the enemy. 

The news of the battle of Bitonto caused the surrender of all 
the castles in Puglia without a struggle, except those of Briudisi 
and Lecce. A large body of Spaniards were sent to the Abruzzi. 
Montemar, with the rest of the troops, returned to Naples ; three 
thousand five hundred German prisoners passed into the pay of 
Charles ; and fresh succours in men, ships, and arms, arrived from 
Spain and Tuscany. The commencement of his reign seemed daily 
more happy, and the festivities within the city were renewed. 
When Montemar arrived, he went to the palace, where Charles, 
as was customary, was seated at table in public. The king, 
with a radiant countenance, bade the conqueror welcome, and 
Montemar bowed respectfully in reply. Charles then asked him in 
Spanish (which he always spoke when at a loss what to say), 
" What news do you bring, Montemar ?" " That your enemies 
have been obliged to yield before your arms ; that all, killed or 
prisoners, do honour to your victory ; that your troops fought with 
equal valour, but that the Walloons were most envied." Those 
around, who had been surprised at the unmeaning question of the 
king, admired the noble answer of the Count. The following day, 
Charles bestowed upon him rewards, honours, the title of duke, 

VOL. I. D 



42 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1734. 

and the permanent command of Castel Nuovo. He afterwards 
caused a solid pyramid to be erected on the field of Bitonto, on 
which was inscribed the success of the battle, under what king it 
had been fought, by whose arms achieved, and the name of the 
commander ; a monument, if we may credit history, rather to pride 
than merit. 

All the castles of the kingdom yielded in succession to the 
Spanish arms ; and the small German garrisons passed into the 
service of Charles. The island of Lipari, menaced by Spanish 
ships, gladly accepted the new government. The large fortresses 
of Pescara, Capua, and Gaeta, alone continued to hold out ; but 
on the 29th July, Pescara capitulated. The fortifications, although 
constructed according to the rules of modern science, were defective 
in lines and reliefs, as well as wanting in outworks ; yet, such as 
they were, they stood a long siege, nor did General Torres lower 
the imperial standard until a breach had been opened wide enough 
to allow him and his garrison to pass out, — an honour which he 
obtained in reward for valour, a virtue admired by all, but espe- 
cially by enemies in war. Nothing else worthy of note occurred 
during this siege. 

Almost at the same time, on the 6th August, the fortress 
of Gaeta surrendered. According to ancient tradition, the first 
walls of this city were built by the Trojans, and JEneas gave it the 
name of his nurse, who was buried there. It increased so rapidly 
in population and wealth, that it could not be contained within the 
original walls, and was therefore enclosed by a wider circuit. 
Alphonso of Arragon erected a castle, and Charles v. remarking 
the strength of the place, and the size of the harbour, which aff'orded 
a secure shelter for ships of commerce and war, caused the city to 
be surrounded with fortified walls ; and in succeeding times every 
new king wished to add fresh works and his name ; so that, in 
1 734, when it was besieged by the Spaniards, it was little less in 
circumference than it is now. It is situated on a promontory at 
the extremity of an isthmus in the Tyrrhenean Sea. The promon- 
tory slopes on three sides into the sea, and on the land side descends 
by a steep and abrupt declivity, which, widening into a plain be- 
tween the two shores of the isthmus, at last forms the valleys which 
lie between the mountains of Castellona and d'ltri. On the 



1734. 



CHARLES OF BOURBON. 43 



summit of this promontory is a very ancient tower, called the 
Tower of Orlando. The walls of the fortress follow the inclination 
of the ground, and are therefore built in zigzags or steps, until 
they touch the further shores on either side, forming bastions, 
curtains, and salient and re-entering angles, so as to be capable of 
defence at every point. Modern science has been employed there, 
but with a deviation from ordinary rules, which were inadmissible, 
owing to the impediments presented by the nature of the ground. 
Though these works are imperfect, they are not to be despised, as 
they require consideral^le skill either to defend or attack. On the 
land side, a second wall encloses the first, and is protected by two 
moats, two covered ways, and several places of arms. It is vul- 
nerable in two points only : in the so-called citadel (the Castle of 
Alphonso), and in the Bastion of the Breach, thus named from its 
disasters. The outer wall (at least as much of it as remains) is 
cut in the hard calcareous rock. 

At the time when the blockade of the fortress was changed into 
a siege, it contained a thousand Germans and five hundred Neapo- 
litans of the battalion raised by the Duke di Monteleone ; there 
were scarcely any artillerymen, and the Neapolitans, therefore, 
from their noted dexterity, were trained to manage the cannon : 
there was abundance of arms, artillery, ammunition, and provisions. 
On the other side, the Duke di Liria directed the attack with six- 
teen thousand Spaniards, provided plentifully with arms and 
materiel. The trenches for the siege were, therefore, in a short 
time opened, and the besiegers, approaching the wall by covered 
ways, raised several batteries of cannon and mortars, by which to 
make a breach in the citadel, and silence the fire of the cannon 
from the fortress. The approaches were in progress, when the 
Duke Montemar arrived to hasten the termination of the siege, 
and enjoy the fruits of victory ; and a little later he was followed 
by King Charles, induced by the same motives, and ambitious of 
military fame. After his arrival the firing became more brisk, 
and a breach began to appear, the shells carrying destruction and 
teiTor into the city. The Count of Tattembach, the governor of 
the fortress, in a council of his ofiicers, proposed to surrender, but 
was opposed by his subordinates: the commander of a fortress 
is in a miserable and humiliating position when any of the 



44 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1734. 

])esieged are more unwilling than himself to demand terms of 
accommodation. But dissentient opinions and discord, added to the 
tottering state of the defences, at length induced the necessity of 
yielding to the enemy, and surrendering the fortress entire. Only 
a few had been killed on either side, and nothing had been per- 
formed worthy of record. The fortress of Capua, though closely 
blockaded, now alone in the w^hole kingdom still hoisted the stand- 
ard of the Emperor. The Germans were commanded by Count 
Traun, the Spaniards by Count Marsillac ; the generals were per- 
sonal friends ; they had been both companions in arms, and foes 
in other wars ; one had been prisoner to the other ; they had been 
buffeted by fortune in various ways, but had always secretly 
maintained their friendship. 

The present good fortune of Charles was increased by the 
victories of the French and Sardinians in Lombardy, and by the 
rare constancy of the European powers in their league against 
Austria. The German army in Italy was almost totally destroyed 
by the battle of Parma ; Prince Eugene, with his small force, was 
not sufficient to confront the powerful armies of Berwick and 
d'Asfeld on the Rhine ; England and Holland maintained their 
neutrality. The Germanic body rendered little assistance to the 
Empire, and could not be relied on, and Russia, although friendly, 
terminated all her views and the aim of the war itself in Poland. 
King Charles feeling himself now secure and powerful, while pre- 
paring an enterprise against Sicily, turned his attention to the 
atfairs of the kingdom. He received the oath of the eletti of the 
city, confirmed the oaths of the barons by edicts and religious cere- 
monies, and formed his ministry, council, and court, of those most 
distinguished by name, birth, or wealth. He appointed the 
magistrates, graciously received the envoys of the Emperor, who 
had been sent by the viceroy into the provinces, and despatched 
thither envoys of his own ; men likewise of noble birth and station. 
He pardoned many delinquencies, and consulted the Seggi upon 
the burdens to be removed. As a king he naturally favoured 
the nobility ; and as no third state had yet arisen, and the people 
were at that time composed of nobles and plebeians, the favour 
shown the former proved beneficial to all ; for the barons, either 
from gratitude for the advantages they enjoyed, or because they 



1734. CHARLES OP BOURBON. 45 

were dazzled by the splendour of the palace, or because their am- 
bition was flattered, came to reside in the city, and thus relieved 
their vassals from their presence, and learned the customs and 
forms of modern civilisation. But suspicion and violence came to 
sully the beneficent acts of Charles. A few partisans of the 
Emperor still remained in the city, men such as are generated 
under any government, weak, contemptible, desiring the victory 
of their party, and deceiving their own hopes, more than those of 
others, by spreading false reports of war and politics. Long mocked 
by fortune, and diminishing in numbers and audacity, they were 
growing disheartened by despair and their own insignificance, 
when the ear of the rulers having become more accessible, and 
their pride increased by success, several juntas were formed, one 
in the city, and others in the provinces, called d'Inconfidenza, 
intended to punish by secret trials and arbitrary verdicts all the 
enemies of the throne ; thus designating a small body of unhappy 
men, and converting disappointed hopes or vain aspirations into 
enmity and state treason. Among many others, Bernardo Tanucci 
was judge in the junta of Naples, an office unworthy his station or 
name ; but the first steps of ambition are blindfold. 

The Seggi of the city had been invited to meet in council, to 
propose the abolition of some of the imposts. Grateful to Charles, 
and ambitious of his favour, they requested him to continue the 
present taxes, though acknowledging that their burden was already 
intolerable : and further to accept from his people a million of 
ducats, which they off'ered him as a donation. Thus was the 
national property defrauded, to gratify the passions and interests 
of a body of men, who but imperfectly represented the whole king- 
dom ; for the king, in order to supply what was needed for the 
approaching expedition to Sicily, while returning thanks to the 
council, confirmed the taxes, and accepted the gift. Soon afterwards 
these same Seggi imposed fresh burdens on the nation. The too 
frequent repetition of similar acts, either by the senators, or the 
king's councillors, or the ministers, produced a desire on the part 
of the people to obtain some effectual means of putting a stop to 
these proceedings in future. 

I am anxious to call the attention of the reader to this fact, that 
as my work advances, I may prove to him how convulsions in 



HISTORY OP THE KINGDOM OP NAPLES. 



1734. 



society always proceed from remote causes, grow up unobserved, 
and only manifest themselves when they are irretrievable. Should 
life and strength be granted me for the completion of my design, this 
history will further prove, that the subsequent opinions, wishes, 
acts, and revolutions of the Neapolitan people, were the necessary 
consequences of the changes they underwent at this period. 

The enterprise to Sicily was determined on, and the prepa- 
rations completed. The Marquis Rubbi was the Emperor's vice- 
roy in that island, and as tlie plan of campaign was the same 
in both kingdoms, — to fight the enemy behind walls, the Prince 
of Lobkowitz conducted the defence of the citadel and forts of 
Messina, the Marquis Orsini of Rome the fortress of Syracuse ; 
and General Carrera that of Trapani ; a small body of Germans 
garrisoned the castle of Palermo, and the rest of the fortresses of 
the island. The people, though acknowledging the Emperor, were 
favourable to Charles, partly from their usual love of novelty, and 
partly from that ancient and well-founded hatred of the Germans, 
common to all Italians. The Spanish army of 14,000 men, well 
supplied with artillery and other materiel, both for the field and 
for sieges, was ready to move, and a vast number of ships were 
ordered to cruise along the shores of the island. The Duke Monte- 
mar was appointed general-in-chief and viceroy for Charles, and 
the Count di Marsillac and the Marquis di Grazia Reale, generals 
under him. They hoped to find the people friendly, and that for- 
tune would prove propitious. The fleet weighed anchor from the 
ports of Naples and Baja on the 23d of August 1734. When half 
way across they parted company ; Montemar turned his prows to- 
wards Palermo, and Marsillac towards Messina. When the fleet of 
Spain was discovered from Palermo, the viceroy embarked for 
Malta, the Germans shut themselves up in the castle, and the 
people, unrestrained by loyalty or their fears, rose in tumult. The 
peaceable inhabitants ran to arms for the security of the city, 
while the municipality sent dej)uties to Montemar, messengers of 
submission and welcome. Preceded by the edicts of Charles, he 
landed on the 29th in the Port of Solanto, and entered Palermo 
the following day in triumph. The same happened at Messina, 
where, as soon as the Spanish ships came in sight, the Prince of 
Lobkowitz caused two of the castles to be evacuated, in order to 



1734. 



CHARLES OF BOURBON. 47 



increase the force in the citadel, and in the castle of Gonzaga, 
which were all he proposed to defend. The city, delivered from 
the German garrison, yielded itself voluntarily to Spain. The 
principal fortresses were soon afterwards besieged or blockaded ; 
the other forts yielded to menaces, or made only a feeble resist- 
ance ; and all the island submitted to the force of arms, or to 
edicts. Upon the publication of the news of the irreparable losses 
sustained by the Empire in Naples, Lombardy, and Germany, the 
Sicilians submitted to a fate which was inevitable, and the 
dominion of Charles was immediately and universally established. 

"Whilst the war still continued in Sicily, the fortress of Capua 
fell. The Spaniards, though threatening an assault, continued 
the blockade, certain that provisions must soon fail in so 
numerous a garrison. Count Traun made several sorties into 
the country, killed many of the enemy, took many prisoners, and 
destroyed part of the lines of circumvallation ; but not being 
able to obtain food, his condition became daily worse, and his 
valour, however estimable on the field, was useless behind walls. 
Therefore, on the 24th November, Capua yielded on honourable 
conditions. The Spanish commissioner found abundant arms, 
artillery, and powder in the fortress, but the magazines of provi- 
sions exhausted, and the hospitals full. The military reputation 
of Count Traun was therefore increased by these losses. The 
garrison, consisting of 5100 soldiers, was conveyed to the ports of 
the Adriatic, and thence to Trieste ; but on leaving the fortress, 
and on the road, more than 2000 Germans passed over to Charles, 
for there are no troops in Europe more ready than these to change 
masters ; a proof of servitude at home, and the consequence of 
raising soldiers by compulsion, and in an arbitrary manner, rather 
than by conscription or lot. 

The Duke Montemar, called to the war of Lombardy, departed 
from Sicily, leaving in his place the Marquis di Grazia Realc. The 
citadel of Messina soon afterwards fell ; the fort of Gonzaga had 
already surrendered, as well as the fortresses of Syracuse and 
Tnipani. Nothing remarkable either for skill or valour occurred 
during these sieges ; but two incidents of the siege of Syracuse 
prove the simplicity of the times. When at its height, the general 
of the fortress wished for a day's truce to repair his trenches and 



48 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1735 

refresh his soldiers ; he accordingly sent a message to the Spaniard 
in these words : " General Orsini, admiring the skill and perfectior 
of the Spaniard in the conduct of sieges, asks his consent that he maj 
inspect his works as a lesson to himself; and should he grant th'u 
request, he further proposes that hostilities be suspended for the few 
hours in which the general will be absent from the fortress." These 
words so flattered the pride of the Spaniard, that he forgot prudence 
and a truce being agreed upon, Orsini came, saw, and praised his 
labours. He was afterwards entertained by the hostile general, 
and, amidst compliments and amusements, protracted his stay unti] 
night. The firing recommenced, and continued during the follow- 
ing days, when a shell from the Spanish camp happened to lodge 
in the room where General Orsini was at dinner ; at the prospect oi 
such imminent death, he made a secret vow to the holy patroness 
of the city, that if he should escape this danger he would surrender 
the fortress ; the shell did not explode, and the fortress was sur- 
rendered. The war ended at Trapani. As the castles of the Pre- 
sidii of Tuscany had yielded to the arms of Spain, the conquest 
of the two kingdoms was completed in the beginning of July 1 735. 
In these wars, many Neapolitans and Sicilians had followed the 
standard of the Emperor, while others had followed that of Charles, 
and thus fought as enemies. It is one of the miseries of an 
enslaved nation to be divided in interests and aim. 

Before the war in Sicily had ended, Charles set out for that 
island, and traversing the Principato Ultra, Puglia, part of the 
Basilicata and Calabria, distributed with royal munificence the 
riches of America sent him by his mother. While waiting for 
the surrender of the citadel of Messina, he spent more than two 
months and a half travelling through the kingdom, devoting much 
time to the chase, for which amusement the woods were prepared 
at a great expense. When hunting one day in the neighbourhood 
of Rosarno, he was overtaken by a violent storm of rain, and 
sought refuge in a poor hut, where he found a young woman who 
had just given birth to an infant ; he desired the child should bear 
the name of Charles, and promised to stand godfather, presenting 
the mother with a hundred doubloons of gold, and assigning twenty- 
five ducats monthly for the maintenance of the child, until, at the 
age of seven, he should be brought to the palaca 



1735. CHARLES OF BOURBON. 49 

From the shores of Palmi, Charles embarked in a splendid vessel 
for Messina. Prince Ruftb, wlio, with baronial pride, had been am- 
bitious of receiving him on his fief in Scilla, disappointed in that 
hope, prepared for him a new kind of escort. Countless barks, 
decorated witli the signs of rejoicing and peace, went out to meet 
the king, and, ranged in a semicircle, accompanied him on his 
way ; five of the richest gondolas were filled by the most beauti- 
ful women of that city, celebrated for beauty, gaily attired, some 
pulling lightly at the oars, some guiding the helm, while others 
sounded instruments of music, and sang in cadences, verses ex- 
pressive of joy and predicting the universal happiness. These 
sirens, intended to imitate the ancient fable, did not, however, 
succeed in captivating Charles, who, though young, was of a sober 
and austere character. Tlius escorted, he reached Messina, where 
other festivities awaited him. 

Two months later, he proceeded to Palermo by sea, as the pro- 
posal of a land journey was frustrated by the rugged nature of the 
country, which was wild and almost uninhabited. After a magni- 
ficent entry into the city, Charles, on the last day of May, con- 
voked the three Bracci or classes composing the Parliament (the 
barons, ecclesiastics, and all belonging to the royal domains), as 
well as such as were distinguished by their noble birth or high 
office, to meet him in the cathedral. After devoutly performing 
the sacred ceremonies, he ascended the throne, and in a loud voice 
(while resting his hand firmly upon the books of the gospel) swore 
to maintain the rights of the people, those of the Parliament, and 
tlie privileges of the city. Having thus fulfilled his obligations 
as king, he called upon those present to swear obedience and fealty 
to his government. All took the oath, and the sacred compact 
between the subjects and their sovereign was thus completed before 
God and the people. At the conclusion of the ceremony, prepara- 
tions were made in the same church for the anointing and corona- 
tion of Charles to take place three days later. This was performed 
in the same manner as the coronation of the preceding eighteen 
kings, who had been crowded in that temple ; but in this instance 
with greater magnificence, and a more ostentatious display of 
wealth. The crown weighed nineteen ounces (five in gems and 
fourteen in gold and silver), and cost one million four hundred and 

VOL. I. E 



HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 



1735. 



forty thousand ducats. Charles caused a great number of medals 
to be struck (the gold weighing one ounce, and the silver in half 
pieces), bearing the motto Fausto Coronationis Anno, which the 
treasurers scattered in handfuls among the people, along the road 
between the church and the palace. This took place on the 3d June 
1 7S5. Four more days were dedicated to public rejoicings, and 
on the fifth, the king set sail for Naples, in a richly decorated ship 
followed by numerous vessels, and landed on the 12th, amidst the 
joyous acclamations of the Neapolitans, and feastings which lasted 
so long that the people themselves were satiated : after whicli 
Charles returned to the cares of state. 



1735. CHARLES OF BOURBON. 51 



CHAPTER III. 

THE REIGN OF CHARLES FROM THE CONQUEST TO THE VICTORY 
OF VELLETRI. 

It is impossible to present the reader vvitli a consecutive narra- 
tive of the events as they occurred during the reign of Charles 
in the order of time, cause, and eifect, because his laws, some- 
times proceeding from his desire for the public welfare, still more 
frequently dependent on the convenience or will of his parents, 
or on the example of Spain, sprang from different causes, and 
therefore wanted unity and stability of purpose. During the whole 
of this period, everything in the State was ruled by a variety of 
pragmatic sanctions or decrees, without any connecting link, or 
any aim beyond that of providing for particular exigencies, and 
governing with despotic power. I shall therefore be obliged to 
give a summary of his reforms, in order that, while describing the 
condition of the subjects and their civil government, it may appear 
how far they were indebted to the political science and wisdom of 
their rulers. 

As the chief disorders of the State were owing to defects in the 
codes and tribunals, the first act of Charles should have been the 
composition of a new code, to rid the Neapolitan jurisprudence of 
the incumbrance of eleven modes of legislation ; but by passing 
separate laws, he only added a twelfth, better adapted indeed to 
tlie circumstances of the people, but as imperfect and incomplete 
as the former. He dared not destroy established error : feudalism, 
a feudal nobility, the pretensions of the clergy, and the privileges 
of the cities, were obstacles which he fenced round by measures 
for the mitigation or restraint of public wrongs, but which superior 
wisdom or courage would have removed. Tlie spirit of our age, 
indeed, in which we are accustomed to behold the subversion of 



52 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1735 

empires, and prodigies performed in the cause of civil liberty 
measuring the past with the magnitude of the present, may cal' 
that feeble, which was great in a preceding century ; as posterity 
in like manner, when reading our histoiy, and feeling how easy it 
would he for them to succeed where the efforts of tliis age prov( 
vain, will accuse us of apathy and timidity, whose political error h 
rather, having demanded too much and ventured too far. 

The civil jurisprudence underwent no change. Alterations wert 
made in the criminal laws, but, dictated for special occasions, anc 
in a spirit of indignation roused by the frequency or barbarity o 
crimes, a due proportion between the act and its punishment was 
not preserved, so that an equitable and judicious scale of penalties 
was wanting. Trials for civil causes were slightly improved, bul 
the discussion was always confused, and it was necessary for th( 
solution of doubtful points to refer to the authority of the Sove- 
reign ; while all the arbitrary acts of tlie Viceregal Government 
the appointments of "Ministri Aggiunti"-^ (Judges extraordinary) 
and " rimedii legali''^ (legal remedies), were continued. TIk 
Supreme Council of Italy was abolished ; the " Collegio Collaterale' 
was converted into a Council of State, while the other tribunals 
remained as before, because the King had promised they shoulc 
not be changed. The system of trial for criminal offences was ir 
no way improved ; while the inquisitorial system, the Scrivani,' 
torture, paid proofs,^ arbitrary sentences, and the interference o 
the prince, still continued. 

These defects, to which I shall again have occasion to refer 
caused the number and atrocity of crimes Muring the reign o 
Charles. In the city of Naples alone, the judicial census numberec 
thirty thousand thieves. Homicides, inroads of banditti, and vio 
lent acts of robbery, were frequent in the provinces; and then 

^ Ministri Aggiunti. Extra judges ap- unknown in Naples, and the name itself ii 

pointed by the sovereign. nearly forgotten. 

9 -n- J-- 1 T -n 1 /. ^ Paid Proofs. The proofs brought for 

^ liimedii leqalu iorms or modes of , . ^ /, f, -j r i xi 

. • , , 1 1 xi • "^ard m a trial were all paid for by the 

trial ordered by the sovereign. . i • i • i .i 

'' ° government which carried on the prosecu 

' Scrivani. Subordinate officials in the tion. The more the proofs, therefore, th( 

courts of law, formerly employed for the more the government had to pay, and the 

purpose of secret inquiry, and who thereby more severe was the final sentence pro 

incurred general odium. Scrivani are now nounced on the accused person. 



1735. CHARLES OF BOURBON-. 53 

were so many cases of poisoning in the city, tliat the king in- 
stituted a Court of Magistracy called the Giunta de' Veleni 
(Junta of Poisons), to discover and punish the delinquents. This 
crime was especially prevalent among women, from its being easy 
to the weak, while the strong are more tempted to deeds of open 
violence. 

While such was the state of the codes of law within the king- 
dom, Charles, by means of treaties abroad, secured the interests 
of commerce. He made peace with the Ottoman empire, by 
the terms of which, and by the reputation of his power, hostilities 
ceased with the natives of Barbary ; and concluded new treaties 
of commerce and navigation with Sweden, Denmark, and Hol- 
land, while renewing the old with Spain, France, and England. 
He appointed as many consuls as there were openings for our 
commerce, collecting in one legislative code the regulations for the 
consulate, or the laws which defined the power and rights of the 
consuls over Neapolitans, and their obligations and claims in 
respect to foreign nations. ' He instituted a tribunal of commerce, 
composed of eight judges ; three of whom were magistrates, three 
barons well acquainted with commercial matters, and two mer- 
chants ; with a president, chosen from the first of the nobility. 
This tribunal reviewed in appeal the sentences of the consuls, 
decided important commercial questions, and, because its decisions 
were final, was called Supreme. The laws passed for cases of 
bankruptcy were so stringent, that they might be called tyran- 
nical, had they not rather been a proof of the monstrous frauds, 
and the corruption of the mercantile class. Another tribunal, 
under the name of " Deputazione di Sanita'' (Sanitary Commis- 
sion), guarded against contagion, superintended the Lazzaretti, 
and provided, by as wise laws as the medical science of that time 
admitted, against all dangers to which the public health might be 
exposed. Had these legislative enactments, which now exist in a 
variety of instructions and pragmatic sanctions, been methodically 
registered in one book, we should have had a full and complete 
commercial code, and might have boasted of having been, by half 
a century, in advance of the other states of Europe. Charles also 
founded a naval college, in which the build of ships was pre- 
scribed on an improved plan, a body of pilots was formed, and 



54 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1735. 

artificers and sailors educated. As another source of commerce 
and industry, he invited the Jews into his dominions, who had 
been tolerated there in early ages, but, persecuted by an ignorant 
people, had been finally banished by a decree of Charles v. The 
edict of Charles of Bourbon was both humane and an example 
worthy to be followed. He granted them security of person and 
property, liberty of conscience, commercial freedom, the rights of 
citizens, and a fixed place of abode in the city ; not as an insult, 
as in other Christian kingdoms, but to afford them a more com- 
modious and independent habitation. They arrived in great num- 
bers, and with great wealth : this History will hereafter relate 
their fate and end. 

The effect of these laws was immediate ; foreign vessels crowded 
our ports, and our markets were filled with foreign goods ; but from 
the errors of our home administration, the Neapolitan flag was 
not often seen on foreign seas. Our merchandise consisted in the 
fruits of the soil, which were locked up in the public magazines, 
and were rotting in cellars ; every wind, every meteor, occasioned 
the fear of a scarcity in some produce, and hindered the export of 
corn, oil, and wine, the only articles in which we abound. It there- 
fore became necessary to support our commerce by money, and the 
government perceiving this necessity, and believing in the fallacies 
of " the mercantile system,''^ decided that foreign trade was inju- 
rious, and that in order to counteract this evil, they must burden • 
merchandise entering the country with exorbitant duties, which 
were registered in certain statutes, called the tariffs of the customs. 
They were ignorant that such taxes are really paid by the con- 
sumers ; but they soon found that the price of articles rose, that 
provisions became dearer, that the value of production diminished, 
industry declined, and wealth decreased. 

In the midst of these cares, Charles, in the year 1738, united 
himself in marriage with Amalia Walburga, the daughter of Fre- 
deric Augustus, King of Poland, a young princess who had not yet 
completed her fifteenth year, modest, simple, and devout. Re- 

^ The Mercantile System. The basis of other ; and that our great object in receiving 

this system was, that " wealth consisted in returns for our exports should be to get 

the precious metals ; that what is gained money instead of merchandise. — See Art. 

in trade by one nation must be lost by an- Commerce, Encyclopaedia Britannica. 



1738. CHARLES OP BOURBON. 55 

ceived with honours in her passage through Germany, and with 
respect in the courts of Italy, she reached Portella upon our fron- 
tiers, wliere the king awaited her beneath a magnificent pavilion, 
and in the midst of a splendour which was new to her. They were 
alike happy in each other's youth, in a prosperous kingdom, in 
their piety, in the sacred tie which united them, and in the inno- 
cent enjoyment of the pleasures with which they were surrounded. 
Filled with awe and delight, the princess knelt before the king, 
who hastened to raise and embrace her, calling her his wife and 
his queen. They reached the city on the 22d June, but deferred 
the ceremony of their entrance until the 2d July. That day Charles 
founded the Order of St. Januarius, which has for its insignia the 
Cross, the points terminating in lilies, and in the centre the image 
of the saint in his episcopal robes, w^ith the Gospel, the instru- 
ments of his martyrdom, and the motto. In sanguine foedus. The 
Cross is suspended by a red ribbon. The king is the grand-master, 
and there are sixty knights, chosen for noble descent or higli 
station. The statutes of the order are as follows : — To maintain 
their faith in the Christian Catholic religion ; to preserv^e inviolate 
their fidelity to the king ; to hear mass every day ; to communi- 
cate on the day of their inauguration, as well as on the festival of 
the saint ; to cause a solemn mass to be celebrated upon the death 
of a knight, recite the service for the dead, and take the communion ; 
to frequent the chapel of the saint, and neither send nor accept a 
challenge for a duel ; to which, at a later period, Benedict xiv. 
added a full absolution for every knight, and a perpetual remission 
of sins on the days in which the saint performed his miracle, namely, 
three times in every year ; plenary indulgences upon visiting three 
churches or altars ; and some dispensation from the discipline of 
fasting : statutes and concessions more worthy a congregation of 
monks than an order of knighthood. 

The king, who was pious both in thought and deed, at this time 
favoured the Church, as much from his natural inclinations as from 
motives of policy ; his ecclesiastical reforms, therefore, are more to 
his honour, and more surprising than any of his other works : for 
it was no disbelieving king, nor one w^hose conscience was un- 
troubled by scruples, who humbled the pontifical pride ; but the 
Infant Don Charles, who, in the church of Bari, attired in the 



56 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1738. 

canonical robes, officiated among the canons in the choir, and who, 
clothed in humble sackcloth, washed the feet of the poor in the 
Church de' Pellegrini ; who performed masses to obtain indul- 
gences ; who every year composed and modelled, with his own 
hands, the group of figures and the cottage which represented the 
nativity of Christ, and who believed in the sanctity of two living 
men, the Jesuit Father Pepe, and a Dominican, Father Rocco, 
cunning and ambitious friars. 

I have already related how Pope Clement xii. temporized be- 
tween the Spaniards and the Germans, and as long as fortune 
was undecided, was prepared to support her favourite. In the 
year 1735, on the solemn day of St. Peter, Charles, who was 
already secure in the possession of the Two Sicilies (all the for- 
tresses having been taken, the standard of the emperor torn 
down, and his own coronation prepared in the metropolitan city of 
Palermo), sent the Duke Sforza Cesarini, ambassador to the pontiff, 
with the offering of the " Cliinea,''^ and a sum of seven thousand 
ducats in gold, the tribute of the kings of Naples. That same day, 
the Prince of Santa Croce, the ambassador of the emperor, pre- 
sented a similar offering to the Pope. These rival pledges of 
submission were only stratagems on the part of both monarchs, 
each desirous thereby to obtain his suffrage, as a proof of their 
right to the disputed kingdom ; but the war in Italy still raged, 
and the result was doubtful. Tlie offering of the Infant was new, 
that of the emperor habitual. The first could not be received 
without a manifestation in favour of the donor, while silence was 
all that was required by the latter : his tribute w^as therefore 
accepted, which was an offence to Charles. 

Shortly afterwards, a tumult broke out in Rome against the 
Spanish and Neapolitan officers, who had been sent thither to raise 
men for the army, and who, having incurred the public displea- 
sure, were threatened, attacked, beaten, and forced to hide from 
the infuriated populace. The riot spread to Velletri, where other 
recruiting officers and soldiers from Naples w^ere quartered. The 
excitement at length reached such a height in both cities, that in 
Rome five of the gates were closed, and the rest protected by 
doubling the city guard ; wdiile in Velletri the town was fortified, 

* A white horse presented as an act of homage by the kings of Naples to the Popes. 



173S. CHARLES OP BOURBON. 57 

the streets barricaded, the city guard armed, and placed under the 
command of sixteen officers, and everything prepared for conflict. 
As soon as Charles was informed of what had happened, he recalled 
his ambassadors from Rome, and dismissed the Pope's legate from 
Naples. The Spanish ambassador left Rome, and the nuncio, who 
had shortly before departed for Spain, was informed that he would 
not be received within that kingdom ; he therefore remained at 
Bayonne. All appearances were warlike. Meantime, the soldiers 
who had been driven from Velletri returned, and having assaulted 
and gained possession of the feebly guarded city, killed several of 
the inhabitants, thre\4^ a larger number into prison, disarmed the 
rest, and imposed a tribute of forty thousand scudi. They next 
proceeded to Ostia, ransacked the shops there, and set fire to the 
huts of the wretched salt manufacturers ; then suddenly falling 
upon Palestrina, only consented to abstain from sacking the town 
on receiving a sum of sixteen thousand scudi. They would have 
proceeded to worse excesses, had not Cliarles, less from a desire 
to put a stop to this license, than from a determination to com- 
mence hostilities against Rome on a larger scale, ordered his 
troops to abandon the Papal territory, and bring with them the 
prisoners and arms taken at Velletri. 

The Pope appealed to the sovereigns of France and Austria ; 
but the first returned evasive answers, while the latter, after re- 
minding him of his want of faith towards the Empire, offered, 
nevertheless, to send a large army to the defence of the Apostolic 
See. Clement refused the offer, and condescending to humiliate 
himself to the act of supplication, softened the rage of Charles ; 
the prisoners taken at Velletri, and three Trasteverine Romans, the 
leaders of the riot (who had been sent to Naples at the request of 
the Government), after a long imprisonment and a public acknow- 
ledgment of repentance, were pardoned and set at liberty, but 
their arms retained. The wrath of the king was rather smothered 
than extinguished. 

The Minister Tanucci, and several Neapolitans of equal eminence, 
now considered the hour propitious to revive the claims of the 
State and of the king. The Abate Genovesi,^ who, although ex- 

* Abate Oenovesi, one of the most dis- Salerno in the kingdom of Naples 1712, 
tinguishcd philosophers of Italy, born near died 1769. 



■ 

58 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1738. 

tremely young, was already distinguished for learning and genius, 
after having published a statement of the amount of wealth con- 
sumed by individuals forming the Church, who were by their vows 
devoted to poverty, proposed reforms which were at once favour- 
able to religion, just, and generous ; other reforms were likewise 
suggested, and even the city sent up petitions to the king, entreat- 
ing him to impose the common taxes upon property and persons 
appertaining to the Church, and to convert the gold and silver, 
which was superfluous in the worship of our holy and humble reli- 
gion, into money. Moved by such prayers and arguments, Charles 
sent Monsignor Galliani, a man of high character, and with en- 
larged views for the times, as his ambassador to Rome, who laid 
the demands and pretensions of the king before the pontiff, viz. : 
To be empowered to nominate candidates for the bishoprics and 
benefices of his kingdom ; and, together with the potentates of 
Christendom, to have the right of one vote in the conclave ; to 
reduce the number of convents of monks and nuns ; to impose 
some restriction upon the acquisition, and to grant some fran- 
chises to the possessors of property in mortmain ; to put an end 
to the jurisdiction of the nuncios, and to abolish the Court of 
Nunciature. 

The Pope, perplexed and annoyed at these demands, convoked 
a college of cardinals, who rejected them all, as contrary to the 
ancient rights of the Holy See. The ambassador was not however 
to be silenced ; but increasing in his pretensions, demanded the ful- 
filment of the decree of Ilonorius ii. in favour of Roger, by right of 
Charles as successor of Roger, and Clement as successor of Hono- 
rius. He reminded the Pope of other concessions made by former 
pontiffs to former kings of the Sicilies. The eloquence of Galliani 
was meanwhile seconded by the power of the Bourbons, by the 
fortune of Charles, by the weakness and age of Clement, and by 
his anxiety to advance the interests of his nephew Corsini, who was 
at the Court of Naples, eager to be appointed viceroy of Sicily, and 
perhaps cherishing still higher hopes. For these considerations, 
Clement promised King Charles the investiture of the conquered 
kingdoms, and granted the cardinal's hat to Don Louis, the Infant 
of Spain. The wrath of the two kings was appeased. Monsignor 
Gonzaga, the nuncio, who had been detained at Bayonne, was ac- 



1741. CHARLES OF BOURBON. 59 

cepted, and proceeded to Madrid ; and the 16tli May of that year, 
1 738, was named for the investiture of Charles. 

On the day fixed. Cardinal Troiano Acquaviva, the ambassador 
of the king, accompanied by a suite composed of the feudal 
lords of Naples and Spain, went to the Quirinal, where the pontiff 
in high state, surrounded by cardinals, archbishops, and bishops, 
conformably with ancient usage, caused the Bull of Investiture to 
be read, by which he proclaimed the king, Charles vii., he being 
the seventh king of Naples of that name. But whether from 
motives of policy, or from caprice, Charles refused to adopt the 
cipher, and continued to designate himself in his edicts and treaties 
as before his investiture. As soon as these disputes with the 
pontiff had been amicably settled, Monsignor Simonetti, who had 
retired to Nola, returned as nuncio into the city ; the ambassadors 
from Vienna remonstrated with the pontiff upon what had taken 
place, who, however, wisely refused to lend an ear to their complaints, 
as he saw fortune inclining towards the other side ; and, desirous 
of diverting the king from the claims he had made through Gal- 
liani, which endangered the power as well as the wealth of the 
papacy, he granted as a gift to Charles, the Bull of the Crusade,^ 
by which the obligation of fasting could be commuted for money. 

The mutual compliments which had passed during the confer- 
ence, having been in time forgotten, Charles, while declaring that 
former treaties and ancient usages were no longer expedient for 
his subjects, proposed a new concordat to the Pope, which Clement 
was about to concede, when he died in 1 739, and was succeeded 
in the pontificate by Cardinal Lambertini, Benedict xiv. The 
affair was therefore suspended, until at last, after repeated de- 
mands on the part of Charles, the Pope named as his legate Car- 
dinal Gonzaga, and the king, Cardinal Acquaviva, with Monsignor 
Galliani, archbishop of Thessalonica, as before ; they met on the 
2d June 1741, and concluded the terms of the concordat, which 
was soon afterwards ratified by both princes, and became law and 
rule of state and conscience. Between baronial rights and the 

^ BvU of the Crusade, First granted dulgences which, granted by the Pope to 

to assist warriors to re-conquer the Holy the King of Naples, became a fertile source 

Land ; next to free Christian captives from of revenue, 
the Saracens, and lastly for the sale of in- 



60 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF KAPLES. 1741. 

immunities of the Church, everything in the kingdom of Naples 
was thrown into disorder. How Charles disposed of the first 
I shall relate in its proper place, as the second was the prin- 
cipal motive for the concordat. Three kinds of immunity had 
been hitherto tolerated ; royal, local, and personal. The royal 
immunities consisted in the exemption of the Church from contri- 
buting its share to the common taxes ; other properties which were 
by their nature secular, were confounded with the ecclesiastical, 
and many privileges and favours were enjoyed by the lands and 
houses of the servants and persons attached to the Church ; so 
that the wealth, cupidity, number, and audacity of the clergy, 
both secular and regular, caused the impoverished and declining 
state of the finances, wliich were only supported by a part of the 
land and by a minority of the citizens. As long as the war lasted, 
the support of the barons, or more frequently the gifts of the 
Queen of Spain, besides forced subsidies and similar expedients, 
concealed the poverty of the exchequer ; but no sooner had the 
doubts and anxieties of the war of conquest ceased, than the State 
languished, and even the burdens imposed under the viceregal 
government could not suffice for its maintenance ; the less so, 
as to other expenses were now added that of a numerous and 
splendid court, and the increased number of wants caused by the 
progress of civilisation. 

The local immunities consisted in the right of asylum. Every 
church, every chapel, the convents, their vegetable and flower 
gardens, the houses, shops, and bakers' ovens, which had a wall 
in common with or were adjoining to the church, and the houses of 
the priests, all furnished an asylum to criminals ; so that, among 
so many places for shelter, upon the commission of a crime, an 
asylum was sure to be at hand, protected by the bishops or 
clergy, and by the furious zeal of the mob, who defended these 
mockeries, as if they had formed a part of religion. An equal 
injury was done to justice by personal immunities ; for added to 
the excessive number of the clergy themselves, were the armed 
retainers of the bishops, the lowest characters employed in the 
ecclesiastical tribunals, tithe collectors, the servants of the priests, 
those inhabiting the same houses, and even, at one time, their 
concubines. 



1741. CHARLES OP BOURBON. 61 

Tlie court of Rome, in consideration of its friendsliip for Cliarles, 
and thinking it prudent to keep on good terms with a neighbour- 
ing and prosperous monarch, agreed to a modification of all these 
immunities. The ancient possessions of the Church from tliat time 
forth were to be subject to taxation to the amount of one-half paid 
by the laitj, and all later acquisitions were to pay the whole. 
The census of the state was to separate the lay property, which 
had been either intentionally or by mistake confounded with the 
patrimony of the clergy. The number of franchises was reduced, 
and the permanent exemptions granted to privileged persons, re- 
voked. The right of asylum was limited to the churches, and 
even then only in the case of slight and trivial offences. The 
ecclesiastical state having been defined, and personal immunities 
reduced, the right of episcopal jurisdiction was circumscribed, the 
secular jurisdiction proportionably extended, and in order to limit 
the number of priests, the difficulties of ordination, and the dis- 
cipline of the clergy were increased. A tribunal was formed, called 
Misto (mixed), because composed of both ecclesiastical andlay judges, 
to decide those disputes which might arise from the Concordat. 

The hopes of the philosophers and liberals were partly fulfilled, 
partly disappointed. In the terms of the treaty, or even in the 
conferences, no allusion had been made to the right of investiture, 
the " Chinea,'' the donatives, the benefices upon tlie ecclesiastical 
patrimony, the bishoprics to be reduced, the number of priests and 
friars to be diminished ; the abolition of asylums, as well as of 
ecclesiastical tribunals and immunities ; or, in short, to any of the 
greatest interests of the monarchy. The Neapolitan negotiators 
did not want courage, but had no hope of success. The people, 
and King Charles himself, the very individuals who would have 
profited by complete emancipation, ignorant or superstitious, did 
not even desire such a change. 

The Concordat gave an impulse and beginning to greater re- 
forms ; the Government, while interpreting, extending, and some- 
times exceeding the terms agreed to, organized the lay jurisdic- 
tion, limited the ordination of priests to ten in every thousand 
souls, refused to allow the Papal Bulls to take effect when not 
accepted by the king ; forbade new acquisitions to the Church, and 
proclaimed episcopal censures powerless, if incurred by the subjects 



62 HISTOEY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1741. 

in obedience to the laws, or to the command of tlie prince. All, or 
nearly all disj^utes were decided in favour of the laity, and every 
act of license on the part of the clergy was punished. Two friars, 
high in the order to which they belonged, opposed the judge of 
the place where they resided, in a case of asylum. Charles having 
caused the fugitives to be taken forcibly from the church, turned 
both friars ignominiously out of the province. A pious family of 
the Abruzzi, in fulfilment of a vow, built a church to the patron 
saint of the city ; but as a law of Charles forbade the foundation 
of new churches without the royal permission, he commanded that 
fliis should either be applied to secular purposes or pulled down ; 
the religious zeal of this family not allowing the alteration of 
the design of the edifice, it was demolished as a public example. 
He refused to grant a license for the foundation of new colleges 
for the Jesuits, and, to punish the persistency and pride of the 
order, he prohibited them new acquisitions by law, while remind- 
ing them of their vow of poverty. Similar measures were con- 
stantly introduced, and therefore it must be said to the honour of 
Charles, that in his relations with the Church, he first by treaties 
or laws removed the impediments to civil freedom, and afterwards 
passed acts which smoothed the way to further progress. 

In order that full advantage might be derived from those 
terms of the Concordat which related to the royal immunities, 
it was necessary to ascertain precisely what were the jjossessions 
of the Church, and likewise those of the fiefs, of communities, 
of secular institutions for charitable purposes, or of public endow- 
ments. The science of statistics, now so exact, was then unknown, 
but something of the kind (which necessarily arises, although im- 
perfect, in the commencement of every commonwealth) suggests 
itself to rulers as soon as they cease to aim at governing despoti- 
cally or by secret and arbitrary means, and rule justly, and with 
a conscientious desire for the good of the people. Such was the 
spirit in which King Charles and his minister Tanucci governed. 
Ignorant as they were of political science and principles, the good 
effects of their government were the result of a wise instinct and 
philanthropy, while the evil may be attributed to the errors of the 
times, and their limited means of information. Charles w^as igno- 
rant; Tanucci little less so ; but though neither of them was capable 



1741. CHAKLES OF BOURBON. 63 

of anticipating political claims, they introduced improvements 
into established institutions, bestowed benefits, and made new 
regulations everywhere : were such kings or ministers now at the 
head of affairs, they would render the nations of Europe virtuous 
and happy. 

The whole science of administration was at that time supposed 
to be comprehended in the census ; they, therefore, organized the 
system, and included many subjects which belong to general 
statistics. Depending solely on voluntary returns, the Govern- 
ment was deceived by the fraudulent, while the simple and honest 
revealed the whole truth. The sincerity shown by the highest 
and lowest orders in the State, was as surprising as the contra- 
dictions and falsehoods of the lawyers, clergy, and barons. The 
rapid progress of the work was impeded by the privileges of 
some cities, which were maintained by the edicts of Philip v. and 
Charles himself, by the feudal lands subject to their own laws, and 
by such of the immunities of the Church as had been recognised 
in the Concordat ; but the resolution and perseverance of the 
Government enabled the census to be completed, and, however 
imperfect, it tripled the public revenue, relieved some of the most 
wretched of the citizens of a part of their burdens, exposed many 
past frauds, and prevented their repetition in future. The ad- 
vantages would have been still greater had Tanucci or Charles 
understood the principles of finance ; but they maintained the 
capitation tax, thus taxing life itself. Every exchange of property 
was alike burdened with imposts, and many incomes, when de- 
rived from a double source, had to pay a double tax into the ex- 
chequer ; many others escaped all taxation ; and, while the artisan 
and tradesman were taxed, those following the professions called 
noble, the physician, the advocate, and judge, contrived by cunning 
and intrigue to obtain exemption. Again the arrendamenti (a 
kind of indirect tax) interfered with private industry ; for ex- 
ample, that of tobacco, by preventing the free cultivation of the 
plant, and thus destroying one of the best products of our soil for 
a small financial gain. But it is not surprising if the finances 
in 1740 were ill regulated, when even in our days, in the most 
civilized states of Europe, they are nowhere, in all respects, con- 
ducted in strict accordance with scientific rules, nor for the 



64 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1741. 

general advantage. In the meantime, the concordat, the census, 
the wisdom of Charles, and the parsimony of Tanucci, produced 
contentment in the people, and filled the exchequer, so that there re- 
mained a surplus beyond what was required to supply the wants of 
the country, and enough for the erection of magnificent monuments. 

But, as if it were ordained tliat the prosperity of a kingdom should 
be only shortlived or interrupted, a fresh war broke out, and brought 
with it new perils and greater demands on the public purse. As early 
as the year 1737, Gian Gastone, Grand Duke of Tuscany, the last of 
the House of Medici, had died, and with him ended that degenerate 
race. Philip v. and Charles king of Naples called themselves heirs 
to the throne of Tuscany, — an empty title, which was not disputed 
by rival sovereigns ; but three years later, in 1740, upon the death 
of the Emperor Charles vi., the slumbering ambition of Philip v. 
for the States of Milan, Parma, and Piacenza, was once again 
awakened. His consort Elizabeth, insatiable in her thirst for 
empire, and eager to bestow a throne upon her second son, Don 
Philip, used her influence still further to excite the king. Philip 
was crafty, cruel, superstitious, and indolent ; in his government, 
he w^as fickle, timid, and suspicious ; but eager to carry on war by 
the agency of others. Therefore, to join the league of the enemies 
of Maria Theresa Queen of Hungary, and daughter of the deceased 
Emperor Charles vi., to prepare armies and send them into Italy, 
to command his son the King of Naples to despatch as large a 
reinforcement as he could spare from his dominions to join the 
Spanish troops, to equip and send forth a numerous fleet, to issue 
edicts, and raise the cry of w^ar in Italy and Europe, were projects 
conceived in a day, and speedily executed. 

Twelve thousand Neapolitans, under the Duke di Castropignano, 
were sent to Pesaro to join the Spanish armies under the Duke di 
Montemar, Avho assumed the supreme command, while a disorderly 
army of Germans and Savoyards assembled in Lombardy, and, led 
by the Count di Lobkowitz, advanced to meet the enemy. Their 
forces were equal, but fortune undecided ; the Germans, however, 
advanced boldly to the attack, while the Spaniards paused at 
Castelfranco ; and as the Duke of Modena^ had inclined to the 

^ Francis iii. of Este, Duke of Modena, roamed, 1737, tlie daughter of Th\\\i> Duke 
the patron of Muratori and Tiraboschi, of Orleans. Died 1780. 



1741. CHARLES OF BOURBON. 65 

side of Spain, Lobkowitz took possession of his chief city, occupied 
Reggio, seized on Mirandola, and reduced Sesto and Monte Alfonso, 
so that little remained of the duchy. Meantime, Montemar, timid 
and slow, offered no assistance to his unfortunate ally, but, almost 
in the presence of the enemy, and able to count his blows, he con- 
tinued a passive spectator of his devastations. Finally, he began 
to retreat before Lobkowitz. 

At that time an English fleet, commanded by Commodore 
Martin, entered the Bay of Naples, and omitting the customary 
salutations in a friendly port, sent a messenger on shore, who 
addressed one of Charles's ministers in these words : — " Great 
Britain, the confederate of Austria, and the enemy of Spain, pro- 
poses neutrality in the wars of Italy to the government of the 
Sicilies. If the king accede to this proposition, let him recall the 
Neapolitan troops in the army of Montemar ; if he refuse, he must 
prepare for instant war ; for, at the first signal, the fleet now 
cruising in the bay will bombard the city. The king will be per- 
mitted two hours to make his choice ;" and, in order to mark the ex- 
act time, the ambassador drew out his w^atch and named the hour. 

The city was destitute of the means of defence ; there were 
neither entrenchments nor a garrison. The port, the docks, and 
the palace were unfortified and unguarded, and the people terri- 
fied. There was neither time for action nor thought ; the court 
was unmilitary, the ministers timid, and the council hastily sum- 
moned by the king in consternation ; the offer of neutrality was 
therefore accepted, and by despatches, which the insolent herald 
insisted on reading, the Duke di Castropignano was commanded 
to return with the army into the kingdom. Other letters were 
secretly written to Montemar to apprise him of the unhappy 
events in Naples, and despatches and ambassadors sent with the 
information to the courts of France and Spain, and to the Infant 
Don Philip, who was fighting in Lombardy, against the armies 
of Savoy and Germany. The day on which the neutrality was 
agreed upon, the English fleet disappeared ; Charles, though late, 
provided for the defence of the city, fortified the port, formed en- 
trenchments and batteries around the bay, and supplied them 
with cannon and soldiers. Reflecting on the insult he had sus- 
tained, and aware that the ambition of all the princes of Europe 

VOL. I. p 



66 HISTORY OP THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1741. 

centred in Italy, that the result of the war was doubtful, promises 
vacillating, and the oath of no king to be trusted, Charles hoped 
to secure his crowm and the tranquillity of his kingdom by ap- 
plying his private wealth, and the increased revenue of the ex- 
chequer, to the purchase of arms, and by enlisting the affections 
and interests of the people in his cause. He ordered many ships 
to be repaired and more built ; he establislied manufactories of 
cannon, muskets, and instruments of war ; he raised a new army 
by conscription in tlie provinces, confiding the highest posts to 
native officers, and collected arms and ammunition. Thus pre- 
pared, and while watching the events in Italy, he ruled the State 
with moderation and justice. The Duke di Montemar, his army 
diminished by the loss of the Neapolitan auxiliaries, became still 
more cautious in his movements, and liastened his retreat, upon 
which his sovereign, taxing him with the disasters of the campaign, 
recalled him and kept him in disgrace, at a distance of twenty 
leagues from the palace and city. The Count di Gages, an officer 
of higher reputation and greater daring, was sent as general to the 
Spaniards ; he infused fresh courage into his soldiers, and led 
them to meet the enemy. They were engaged in several encoun- 
ters, in which he was sometimes victorious, sometimes defeated ; 
but, finally, was obliged, from his inferiority of numbers, to with- 
draw his troops into the Neapolitan territory, behind the Tronto. 
The successful Lobkowitz encamped on the opposite bank, and 
menaced the foe by a display of his forces, as well as by the edicts 
of his queen. 

Reasoning like an ambitious woman, Maria Theresa felt secure 
of the conquest of the kingdom, because the king was new, his 
small army unaccustomed to war, and the Neapolitans inclined for 
change ; Avhilst, on her side, she had a great and victorious army, 
a successful captain, and numerous emissaries distributed among 
the people. The sanguine expectations of the queen and of the 
woman were encouraged by her ambassadors at the Court of Rome, 
and by a band of Neapolitans, who were voluntary exiles, or had 
been banished under the government of Charles, — poor, and, 
as was natural under their circumstances, sanguine and ready 
to promise ample succours and conspiracies to be raised in her 
favour ; these men, prompted by the desire to return, and by the 



1741. CHARLES OF BOURBON. 67 

hope of vengeance, instigated the queen to make war against their 
native land. Maria Theresa, Queen of Hungary and Empress of 
tlie Romans, addressed tlie people of the Sicilies by an edict, in 
which she promised to relieve them from the burdens of taxation, 
to confirm their ancient privileges, to confer others, to banish the 
avaricious and hated race of the Hebrews, to throw open the 
prisons, to grant pardon, and bestow premiums and rewards on 
virtue, to increase the annona^ and to lower the price of food ; 
she concluded by vaunting the attachment of the people to the 
imperial house, and by holding out temptations to the ambition of 
the great, and to the inconstancy of the lower orders, and pretended 
to have secret connexions in the country, hoping thus to encourage 
lier own adherents, and to rouse the suspicions of the Government. 
As soon as the king was informed of these transactions, he sum- 
moned a congress to meet in his palace, and reminded them of the 
natural alliance with Spain, as well as of the neutrality agreed 
upon with England ; that his own desires and the condition of the 
country inclined him to peace, but that the present necessity urged 
him towards war ; of the danger of moving the army, and the 
danger of inaction ; of the impoverished state of the exchequer, 
but the certain evil of having to maintain two foreign armies, and 
to see the provinces laid waste for encampments and battles ; of 
the loyalty of the people, but the inconstancy of human nature 
and of fortune ; and after enumerating these and other f^icts, and 
weighing them one against the other, he asked their advice. 
Unanimity of votes is rarely met with in a numerous assembly, 
and still more rarely is a cowardly or base sentiment without its 
advocate or supporter. War was less fatal than peace ; to remain 
inactive, waiting the turn of events, was certain subjection either 
to Spain or to the Empire ; yet the congress hesitated from some 
far-fetched religious scruple respecting the observance of the neu- 
trality ; and the good King Charles, either from a love of peace, 
or trusting to time and fortune, was wasting the days in irresolu- 
tion and uncertainty, when letters arrived from his parents, Philip 
and Elizabeth, reproaching him with his hesitation and delay, 
enumerating the dangers before him, setting up as an example 
the intrepid conduct of the Infant Philip in tlie obstinate wars 

^ Annona, public storehouses. 



68 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1743. 

in Lombardy, and, while reminding him of the great actions per- 
formed by his house, inciting him to take up arms and enter the 
field. 

The doubts of Charles being thus removed, he refused to listen 
any longer to the timid counsels of the Duke Montallegre, a worthy 
courtier, who, though possessed of an excellent understanding, and 
well acquainted with all matters appertaining to civil government, 
had an aversion for war, for which he had no capacity. He was a 
good adviser in peaceful times, but the worst when the kingdom was 
in danger. The king collected his troops, and promulgated an edict 
to this effect : — " The neutrality promised to England was contrary 
to the interests of my house, to the affection I owe my family, to 
the good of my people, and to my duty and dignity as a king ; 
and I only gave my consent in order to avoid for my beloved, and 
at that time, defenceless city, the bombardment and injuries 
threatened by an English fleet, which had unexpectedly entered 
the bay with hostile intentions. But however hard the conditions, 
and however obtained, I observed them, because the word of a 
king had been given ; I recalled my army fighting upon the banks 
of the Po, and exposed the armies of my father to danger by the 
loss of these auxiliaries. The ports were closed to Spanish ships, 
commerce was impeded, aid refused, and, on the other side, every- 
thing conceded to the flag of England. As a reward for so many 
injuries, and for so much suffering, as a recompense for such 
fidelity, a powerful German army, supported by English ships, is 
on the eve of fording tlie Tronto, under the pretence of pursuing 
a small body of Spanish troops, but in reality to carry war into 
the States of Naples, and, if successful, to drive the king from his 
throne. The neutrality is thus broken, and broken by them ; I, 
supported by the forces of my kingdom, conscious of the rectitude 
of our cause, and trusting to receive the aid for which I pray to 
God, will go forth to confound their iniquitous designs.'' 

The king proposed to lead twenty thousand soldiers in person 
into the Abruzzi ; to unite them with those of Spain ; and mean- 
time to constitute a regency for the government of the kingdom, 
and place his young wife and her newly-born infant in Gaeta. 
When the edicts were published and preparations known, the 
alarm and grief of the people were extreme, and whilst the multi- 



1743. CHARLES OF BOURBON. 69 

tude stood a melancholy crowd in the square below, five of the 
Eletti petitioned Charles not to let the royal palace be deserted 
by all of the name of Bourbon, but to trust the queen and the 
infant to the care of the people, more faithful guardians than 
the walls of Gaeta. But while thanking them, Charles refused to 
alter his determination, declaring that in an unwalled city, the fear 
alone of an attack from an enemy, and the very zeal of the guards 
and the citizens, were dangerous for a woman in the condition of 
the queen. He placed entire confidence in the fidelity of his 
people, so much so, that he would that day free all those guilty 
or unhappy persons wltio were detained in prison on suspicion, the 
partisans of the very Germans whom he was going forth to meet in 
battle. Tyrants, when exposed to danger, imprison even innocent 
persons ; but Charles liberated the guilty. When these magnani- 
mous acts were made known, they excited so much love and zeal 
in the people, that the nation appeared more like a family than a 
state. The nobles, after expressing their scorn at the edict of the 
empress-queen, because she had dared to tempt their fidelity, 
renewed their oaths to Charles, both in writing and by their depu- 
ties ; and the representatives of the city, while offering the king 
three hundred thousand ducats for the expenses of the campaign, 
promised to supply the armies with as many provisions as they 
should require, so long as the war might last, while the populace, 
assembled in groups or in crowds in the streets, shouted auguries 
of success and honour. Amidst these happy predictions the royal 
family took their departure — the queen with her infant for Gaeta, 
the king for the Abruzzi, where he was to join his troops. 

Before ho could reach the Spanish army, the German general 
Braun, with a strong detachment of infantry and cavalry, passed 
the Tronto, and occupied the extreme confines of the Abruzzi, 
where the hostile armies were daily brought into collision, with- 
out coming to any serious engagement, as Braun was waiting 
for the army of Lobkowitz, and the Count di Gages for that of 
Charles. About this time occurred a singular feat of arms ; a 
Neapolitan soldier, in a regiment of dragoons in the service of 
Spain, left alone by his comrades who had fled, fell into the midst 
of the enemy, consisting of a small body of Hungarian horse ; per- 
ceiving his disadvantage if he remained on horseback, he dis- 



70 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1743. 

mounted, and drawing his weapon, which was a Scythian sword 
(according to the rule of his regiment), he fouglit with so much 
valour and success, that he killed seven of the enemy, and wounded 
others, while the rest fled, and he remained victor in the field ; he 
gathered up the spoils of the vanquished, and, bathed in his own 
blood and that of the enemy, returned to the Spanish camp, where, 
laying the arms of the seven he liad slain at the feet of the Count 
di Gages, he was highly commended by the troops, and was pre- 
sented by the Count with two hundred gold pieces, which the brave 
soldier divided among his comrades, reserving nothing for himself 
but the glory of the enterprise. 

Lobkowitz and Charles advanced towards the Tronto by oppo- 
site roads. Upon their arrival each reviewed his troops. Lob- 
kowitz, already distinguished by his actions in Bohemia,^ was at 
the head of twenty thousand infantry, and six thousand cavalry ; 
they were followed by hordes of Transylvanians, Illyrians, and 
Croats, who had left their native forests at the bidding of the 
queen, and who, in the guise of soldiers, were thieves and ruf- 
fians; there were besides other bands, composed of fugitives, 
deserters, and robbers, who, fighting in independent corps as light 
troops, were called Free Companies ; the army was completed by 
two thousand Hungarian cavalry, volunteers and bold spirits, who 
spread themselves over the country as marauders, infesting the 
roads, seizing on food, arms, and men, and exploring the ground 
for the camps and marches. The German army therefore was at 
least thirty-five thousand strong, but fame, or the prudence of the 
leaders exaggerated their numbers and strength. Charles assumed 
the supreme command of both Spaniards and Neapolitans. The 
first was composed of eleven regiments of infantry, three squadrons 
of cavalry, five hundred light horse, and three hundred mounted 
guards of the Duke of Modena, who, a fugitive from his own domi- 
nions, and faithful to the cause of Spain, had taken service under 
the Count di Gages. These guards were principally Hungarians, 
who had most of them deserted to the Spanish service, and who, 
therefore, either from their misfortunes or misconduct, were re- 
duced to the desperate alternative of victory or death. The 
Spanish army, of twenty thousand soldiers, was completed by a 

* Against the French Marechal de Belle Isle. 



1743. CHARLES OF BOURBON. 71 

regiment of Catalan infantry, lightly armed and clothed, fit for am- 
buscade, quick in their movements, and who despised death and the 
enemy. The Count di Gages, an old soldier, though weary of war, 
led these troops. Tlie Neapolitans numbered twenty-two regiments 
of infantry, five squadrons of cavalry (in all nineteen thousand 
soldiers), under the conduct of the Duke di Castropignano ; five 
of these regiments were new ; all the remainder trained to war 
either in Italy under Montemar and the Infant Philip, or in the 
sieges of the fortresses of the Two Sicilies, or in Africa, at Gran, 
where they had been engaged with the ferocious Moorish tribes. 

Both sides were well Supplied with artillery. That of Charles 
was placed under the direction of Count Gazola from Piacenza, 
distinguished for his mathematical learning and talents ; and while 
a large English fleet obeyed Lobkowitz, the king had his own navy 
at his disposal. The Bourbon army was really the most numerous, 
though the Germans were reported to be superior ; these last were 
encamped in two lines along the left bank of the Tronto, and had 
sent forward, as I have before stated, a handful of bold cavalry 
and infantry, led by General Braun, and scattered in various direc- 
tions in advance of their lines, upon the right bank of the river. 
Here the Spanish troops were stationed in the first line, and the 
Neapolitans in reserve in the second. The king had taken up his 
quarters at Castel di Sangro. The winter season was on the 
decline. Lobkowitz waited in expectation of disturbances within 
the kingdom, and Charles hoped for such advantages as might 
ensue from time, scarcity of provisions, sickness, and discord in the 
enemy's camp. The armies remained, therefore, as in a time of 
repose. 

But Lobkowitz, urged on by the persuasions of Count Thun, the 
imperial ambassador in Rome (a bishop full of warlike ardour, 
and at the head of the unhappy conspiracies in the kingdom), and 
forced to act by the commands of his queen, put an end to the 
delay, and prepared for attack. The entrance by the Abruzzi was 
difficult, because the roads were broken up, the mountains covered 
with snow, the country poor, and the army had to march in the 
face of the enemy. Preferring the roads by Ceperano and Valmon- 
tone, memorable in past conquests of Naples, he recalled Braun, 
and abandoning the region of the Tronto, started in the direction 



72 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1743 

of Rome. Charles was informed of this movement beforehand by 
letters from Cardinal Acquaviva, his legate at the Apostolic See ; 
crafty and liberal in his bribes, the cardinal had learned the de- 
signs of the imperialists through a man attached to the household 
of Count Thun, who betrayed the secrets of his master. As soon 
as the German army had departed, that of the king began to move, 
the first leaving by various roads through Umbria, and the second 
by Celano and Venafro. The aspect of war was changed, for the 
Germans appeared to be retreating, which inspired their opponents 
with so much courage, that, in their exultation, they tumultuously 
called upon Charles to lead them to battle. The armies proceeding 
according to the intention of their generals. Count Lobkowitz made 
an ostentatious and almost triumphant entry into Rome, where he 
was received by the Pope and the people, as the successful party 
in Italy, and as already the invincible conqueror of the neighbour- 
ing kingdoms of the Two Sicilies : for the grand and ferocious 
aspect of his German followers, their barbarous dress, and their 
harsh language, appeared the signs and promise of victory. But 
their leader was not so confident of success, and proceeding slowly 
and with caution, allowed Charles to reach the frontiers, who con- 
ducted his troops into the Papal territory, refusing to listen to the 
pusillanimous warnings of conscience, and to the demands and 
entreaties of the pontifi". Some skirmishing took place between 
the bands of Hungarians and the Bourbon troops, who were seve- 
rally engaged in exploring the country, but they seldom came to 
actual fighting. 

The king, with a great part of his army, was upon the road of 
Valmontone, when he learned from his videttes the approach of 
the enemy. His troops were not yet disposed in order of battle ; 
his artillery had not arrived ; the roads were heavy from recent 
rain, and the ground impracticable ; but the necessity of the 
movement made all things possible, and a sufiicient front being 
prepared to keep the Germans at bay, a messenger was sent to 
hasten forward the remaining troops and the artillery. Just then, 
a violent storm arose, obliging part of them to halt, and Charles 
immediately changing his order of march, brought the rest back 
in disorder to Velletri ; satisfied w^ith pitching his camp in a 
strong position, he left the determination of his further move- 



1743. CHARLES OP BOURBON. 73 

mcnts on tlie following day, to bo regulated according to circum- 
stances and to the situation of the Germans. Early next morning 
he sent his scouts round, collected his troops in good order, and 
having learnt the approach of the enemy, prepared himself and his 
men for combat. The first German arms appeared above the crest 
of the hills, and others succeeded, until the whole host was spread 
out in line ; but Lobkowitz, from his elevated position, surveying 
the numbers of the enemy, and noting the rugged nature of the 
ground, considered that his cavalry, which formed the main force 
of his army, could not operate among these valleys, and felt his 
courage fail ; he therefore placed his men in camp, fortifying liis 
position by artillery, breastworks, and entrenchments. The king- 
followed his example. The ground which, shortly before, had been 
destined for a battle-field, was now covered with encampments ; 
the war was carried on with as much deliberation as before ; Lob- 
kowitz again trusting to disturbances in the kingdom, and Charles 
to the effects of time. 

The city of Velletri is situated at the summit of a hill, from 
which the ground descends in steep declivities, where the olive 
and vine are cultivated. A little torrent rushes along the three 
ravines which form the valley ; and the banks which run towards 
the north and west, rising always more abruptly by successive 
rocks and hills, terminate in Monte Artemisio, four miles or more 
distant from Velletri. The right wing of the camp of Charles rested 
on this mountain, his left inclined towards the Porta Romana, 
the central gate of the city ; the front of the camj) was guarded 
rather than fortified ; a little behind, upon the hill of the Cappuc- 
cini, a park of artillery was planted, and several squadrons were 
encamped there, to be used as adjuncts or supports for the first 
front. These were succeeded by smaller encampments, either as 
guards over some particular spot, or as forming a convenient station 
for the soldiers ; and the disposition of the troops was such as to 
enable the whole army to get under arms upon a given signal, on 
the shortest possible notice. A fountain, which usually played in 
the principal square, and w\as both an ornament to the town and a 
luxury to the inhabitants, had ceased, as the enemy had destroyed 
the canals, and turned off the stream. The camp was therefore ill 
supplied with water, which could only be obtained, after toil and a 

VOL. I. G 



74 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1744. 

conflict with tlie enemj, from a small well, excavated in the bottom 
of the valley, at three miles' distance from the city. But provisions 
abounded, as Charles was amply supplied by the affection of his 
subjects. 

The enemy, encamped on the opposite side, overlooked the army 
of the king, and were able to reckon his forces and means of defence, 
while they themselves were concealed by the undulating nature of 
the ground they occupied. They had plenty of water, but there was 
a scarcity of provisions, although supplied from Rome and other 
cities. Lobkowitz could not avail himself of his superior position, 
because, to attack the enemy, he must have carried his troops into 
the valleys below, which were commanded by greater numbers than 
his own. Advancing, therefore, as in a siege, he harassed them 
by a close fire of musketry and cannon ; and having driven a 
Spanish regiment from an eminence on which it was encamped, at 
five hundred paces from the city, he fortified the spot by entrench- 
ments, and placed a guard there. Continual and sudden attacks 
by day and night allowed our soldiers no rest. Lobkowitz hoped 
that the king, seeing his men thus pressed, and obliged to suffer 
attacks which they were unable to return, would raise his camp, 
and he anticipated with exultation all the disasters which the 
enemy would suffer while in retreat, with a triumphant army close 
upon their rear. 

Charles was likewise aware of these dangers, and hastily assem- 
bled a council, when the Count di Gages proposed a manoeuvre, 
which he executed as boldly as it was conceived. He marched 
silently at night, with four thousand soldiers, and by deserted 
paths, so as to reach Monte Artemisio at dawn. It was guarded 
by a thousand men ; but either from wine, drowsiness, or the 
negligence naturally arising from a long state of security, they 
were reposing without their arms, when they were suddenly dis- 
covered and overpowered by the enemy. The commander was 
taken in his tent, and another superior ofiScer, who was awake 
and on the alert, resisted, but was overcome by numbers ; rendered 
powerless from his wounds, he was captured, and soon afterwards 
died ; only a few escaped in the confusion to acquaint Lobkowitz 
with their disaster. The whole German camp rose in arms, but 
already more troops in the camp of Charles were on the move ; 



1744. CHARLES OF BOURBON. 76 

and Gages, descending from Monte Artemisio, gained possession of 
Monte Spino, took more prisoners, and seized on the artillery and 
provisions. Such terror and confusion prevailed in tlie imperial 
camp, where there was as much want of wisdom in the leaders as 
there was insubordination in the men, that they fled, by whole 
companies, helter skelter towards Rome. As soon as the tidings 
of the panic reached Rome, the gates were closed, as it was fully 
believed that both armies, the conquered and the conqueror, were 
close at hand. 

As the sole object the Count di Gages had in view was to gain 
Artemisio, which he had now taken and fortified, he left it under 
the protection of a strong garrison, and returned, satisfied and 
elated with the success of his enterprise, proud of his prisoners, 
and rich with booty. In that age, more was effected by military 
genius than science ; projects on a large scale were rare in the 
leaders of armies, except with those few, privileged by nature, 
to whom knowledge is instinct. If Gages had lived in these days, 
by only obeying ordinary rules, he must have caused the first 
squadron to succeed the second, which had been held as a re- 
serve in case of defeat, or a reinforcement in success : at a con- 
certed signal, Charles's whole army would have attacked the Ger- 
man camp in front, Gages would have descended from the hills, 
and, assaulting the enemy's posts in the rear, would have put them 
to flight, and driven them back, one upon the other, and have 
thus ended the war. But as the course of victory was arrested 
half-way, Lobkowitz had leisure to check the panic, to stop the 
fugitives, to recover Monte Spino, and to re-form his troops. By 
liaving lost Monte Artemisio, all the positions of the Germans 
leaned towards the right wing of the camp, which movement occa- 
sioned an aflair of greater importance. 

Both armies having returned to their usual state of inaction, 
the Germans began to sicken from the foreign climate, to mutiny 
for want of pay, and, owning to the rabble of w^hich the army was 
composed, to desert in vast numbers, so that their forces sensibly 
diminished. Count Lobkowitz was mortified by the disaster of 
Artemisio, by the injury his reputation had sustained with his own 
soldiers and throughout Italy, and by his boasts having been put to 
shame by recent events. But just at this time lie received assur- 



I 



76 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 17^ 

aiices from Bishop Tlmn, that the kingdom was ripe for rebellion, 
and only waited the support of a small military force ; while the 
empress, from Vienna, sent him liaughty and imperious commands 
to advance. Lobkowitz therefore WTote to the English admiral to 
threaten Gaeta, to cruise along the shores, and excite the people 
to revolt ; while he himself used the unjustifiable means of de- 
spatching a small but daring body of troops into the Abruzzi, to 
spread the report of victory, to encourage the rebels, to devastate 
the land, and to massacre all who remained faithful to Charles. 
He hoped that as soon as the king should hear of these movements 
in the kingdom, he would hasten thither with a large part of his 
army, and thus weaken the camp at Velletri ; but these hopes 
were frustrated by the attachment of Charles's subjects, which 
continued unabated, and even increased. 

Lobkowitz made another attempt. The left wing of the camp 
of Charles was weak, for owing to the distance from the enemy, 
and never having been disturbed by any attack or alarm dur- 
ing tliis campaign, the guards were almost as negligent as in a 
time of peace, and although the imperialists had approached that 
quarter after the battle of Artemisio, the posts were not strength- 
ened nor their vigilance awakened. A report arose, as often hap- 
pens in war, of which neither the author nor origin could be traced, 
that the Germans meant to surprise the left wing of the camp ; but 
it was not believed. Lobkowitz meantime, on the 8th August 
1744, summoned the principal and the boldest of his officers to 
meet him in council, and addressed them thus: — "It is vain to 
hope for disturbances in the kingdom of Charles, or for discourage- 
ment, desertion, or a scarcity in his camp. "VVe have before us a 
strong and successful army, while the numbers of our soldiers are 
diminishing by death, sickness, and flight. Delay is against us. 
Nothing remains, but either a successful assault or a disgraceful 
return into Lombardy. Certain of your choice, I lay my scheme 
before you. The enemy leaves his left wing exposed ; the ground, 
weak by nature, is not fortified by art, only a few are left to guard 
it, and these having been long undisturbed, lie down at night, 
careless, and in a state of intoxication. There are several roads 
over the declivity, beside the valley wdiich lead to this point, and 
I have an equal number of guides in readiness, not bribed to assist 



1744. CHARLES OF BOURBON. 77 

us, but friendly to our cause. There is an easy ingress by an old 
ruined wall, which once passed, we have a road open conducting 
to the city, to the encampments, and to the quarters of the king. 
A column of our best troops shall follow the guides in silence by 
night, and entering through the ruined wall, shall stab the guards 
in their sleep, and, noiselessly proceeding to the city, kill the sol- 
diers and citizens. When the sentinels and fugitives have wakened 
the enemy's host, our men shall rush on, uttering loud cries, burn- 
ing, destroying, and striking terror on all sides, without allowing 
time for reflection to those attacked. A more select band shall 
enter the house occupied by the king, and take him prisoner ; the 
rest shall go into the camps and the open country, killing and 
pursuing the enemy. Larger bodies of our troops shall meantime 
attack the right of the enemy's lines, and the remnant hold them- 
selves ready in case of need, or to assist at the victory. If the 
enterprise should succeed, we shall in one night end the labours 
of the war; if it fail, we shall return to our entrenchments; and 
shall the following day be as we are now, prepared for action or 
council. I have revolved this well, eager for revenge from the day 
of our defeat at Artemisio, and I now lay it before you to decide." 
All signified their approbation ; some, because they were brave 
men, and others wishing to appear so. Each had his part as- 
siorned him. Generals Novati and Braun were chosen to attack 
the left of the camp, with six thousand soldiers ; General Lobko- 
witz to attack the right with nine thousand ; the senior general 
in the camp was ordered to keep the remaining troops under arms 
and prepared, and the signals and passwords were settled. The 
night of the 10th and 11th August arrived, in which the fate of 
the kingdom was to be decided, and Novati and Lobkowitz de- 
parted with their columns ready for immediate action ; the punish- 
ment of death was threatened to any who should shout, speak, or 
make any clatter with his arms ; the rest of the army was on 
the watch. Novati reached his destination, entered the camp of 
Velletri, killed and overpowered all he met, and proceeded unob- 
served. An Irish regiment in the service of Spain, encamped a 
little in the rear of the main body, was surprised, and in part cut 
off ; but those who remained alive, woke up and defended them- 
selves ; the noise of the fight, and the fugitives, gave warning to 



78 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 



m^ 



the camps, and the Germans then hearing the drums and trumpets 
of the enemy sounding to arms, proclaimed their presence by loud 
shouts, and in obedience to orders, broke open, burned, and de- 
stroyed one of the gates (that called the Neapolitan), and rushed 
out of the city. The first dawn of day hardly illuminated the 
sky. 

Charles, who was sleeping in the Casa Ginetti, was awakened by 
his guards, and hastily throwing on his clothes, and girding his 
sword, passed through the gardens of the house, and escaped to the 
camp at the Cappuccini. The Duke of Modena, the ambassador of 
France, and the Count Mariani (on horseback as he rose from a 
sickbed), with the Duke of Atri, fled from their burning houses 
without waiting to dress. All w^as confusion during that first 
hour. The inhabitants, with tears, entreated the conquerors for 
pity, but were barbarously murdered and plundered. Many of our 
soldiers fired at the enemy from the windows and roofs, others 
assembled in the squares of the city, and fought hand to hand ; 
others opened themselves a way by their weapons ; but many par- 
ticulars of the combat, and many a disaster or instance of courage, 
are left unrecorded. Niccolo Sanseverino, brother of the Prince of 
Bisignano, was among the first slain in fight ; Colonel Macdonald, 
distinguished in former wars, tall in person, and mounted on 
horseback, halted in the centre of the large square of the city, and 
raising his arm and sword, called to the soldiers who were flying 
in all directions, to unite and follow him. While he was yet 
speaking, a ball from a German musket put an end to his life, his 
command, and example. Many of the superior officers and cap- 
tains died bravely ; and finally, the city, wholly deserted by us, 
fell into the hands of the enemy. 

Lobkowitz, apprised by signals and by the noise of battle, of 
the successful assault made by Novati, had attacked and gained 
possession of Monte Artemisio ; proceeding to the second and third 
encampment, he next put them to flight, for fortune favoured the 
Germans. But Charles, hastily collecting his soldiers at Monte 
Cappuccini, passed them in review, and addressed each file in 
these words : " Remember your duty to your king and your wonted 
valour, and that if you are true to honour and duty, we shall yet 
conquer." He sent the Count di Gages against Lobkowitz ; placed 



1744, CHARLES OP BOURBON. 79 

the Duke di Castropignano in opposition to Novati, and held the 
rest of the troops in reserve. Gages being superior in numbers 
to the enemy, kept liim in fight upon the mountains ; Castro- 
pignano advanced towards Velletri, but did not encounter the 
German columns as he expected, because, tempted by avarice and 
license, they were dispersed throughout the city. The courage of 
the Bourbonist army revived ; the legion Campana, which had 
been just raised by conscription and was under the command of 
Gages, was among the most eager to seek vengeance and glory ; 
Castropignano, who was slowly advancing, was urged on by the 
king, who supplied him' with fresh forces, and who that day merited 
all the praise due to a skilful and brave captain. Our columns 
conquered as they proceeded ; the ground of Artemisio was re- 
covered, and Castropignano entered the city. The consterna- 
tion we had just before experienced was now felt by the enemy, 
who in their turn were thrown into disorder ; fortune had 
changed sides, and the conquered became the conquerors. Among 
the Germans, the Duke Andreassi, who commanded a strong and 
numerous squadron, was seriously wounded ; General Novati was 
taken prisoner whilst seizing papers and money in the quarters of 
the Duke of Modena ; 2000 Germans were killed ; General Braun, 
who was with the reserve outside the city, seeing the discomfiture, 
and having learnt from the fugitives the capture of Novati, and 
the slaughter and total defeat of his comrades, did not await the 
enemy, but took shelter behind his former entrenchments. Lob- 
kowitz likewise, abandoning his soldiers, banners, and artillery, 
returned to the camp, and if the uncertainty of the roads, or want 
of decision had not slackened the march of the Count di Gages, 
and if the conquerors had entered the valley with the fugitives, 
but little of Lobkowitz's army would have been left, and his hopes 
of success during the remainder of the war would have been anni- 
hilated. 

The enemy was already drawn up behind his works, and many 
of his regiments had not yet been engaged, while all the soldiers 
of Charles were exhausted, both with defence and attack, with the 
storm of the morning, the suspense of the day, and even with the 
fatigues of victory. The hour of nine had just struck, and they 
had been fighting since daybreak ; although each army had re- 



80 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1744. 

turned to the camp tliey had quitted, the Bourbonists had really 
conquered. The king, however, ordered a retreat to be sounded, 
and commanded the troops of the first front to resume their for- 
mer position, while he computed the amount of injuries sustained, 
and advantages gained ; 8000 of the Bourbonist soldiers, and nearly 
as many of the Germans, had been killed or wounded, and the loss 
in standards and artillery on either side was equal, but the victory 
was assigned to Charles. Upon the ensuing day, therefore, he 
returned thanks to the army, commending the valour of the Spa- 
niards, which he pronounced equal to their ancestors', and of the 
Neapolitans who had rivalled those experienced in war. He dis- 
tributed honours and money among them ; and applying to his 
subjects for fresh soldiers, horses, clothing, and money, he obtained 
even more than he asked. He recalled the Duke di Lavello with 
his troops from the Abruzzi, as the Germans had been already 
driven from that province ; and was informed that more Spanish 
regiments had landed at the port of Gaeta, which, favoured by 
wdnd and fortune, had passed the English fleet unperceived, and 
had arrived in a few days from Barcelona. Meanwhile, having 
been taught a lesson by past dangers, Charles fortified the defences 
of the left wing as well as every other part of his camp, so that 
after the battle, he gained in the strengtli of his army, as w^ell 
in reputation. 

The strength, courage, and fame of Lobkowitz suffered p 
portionably ; after his last unhappy attempt, his officers became in 
subordinate, as is usual in times of adversity ; the distress increased 
in his army, the horses died, the men were sick or mutinous, the 
autumn season was approaching, and the disastrous and alternat- 
ing fortunes of the war in Lombardy caused all hope of succour to 
disappear ; yet he did not venture to retreat, lest he should seem 
to be impelled by fear, and waited for unprecedented favours from 
time and chance. However, in the first night of November, after 
having assumed an appearance of permanent occupation during 
the day, and that very night lighted fires, stationed sentinels and 
patrols, and given the password, Lobkowitz rapidly drew off his 
army in silence and good order in the direction of the Tiber, which 
he crossed by two bridges, that of the Milvio and another hastily 
constructed of boats. The next morning the king, perceiving the 



I 



I 



1744. CHARLES OP BOURBON. 81 

enemy l\ad fled, pursued him, but fear being always swifter than 
liope, the Bourbonists only reached the river when the Germans 
were already on the opposite bank, and were breaking down the 
bridges with so much zeal and skill, that the work of destruction 
was completed under the eyes of the hostile army. Lobkowitz 
continued his retreat. Charles halted at Rome to do homage to 
the Pontiff, and to behold the greatness of the holy city ; here he 
divided his army into two divisions ; one under Gages, intended 
to harass the Germans, the other to return with him into the 
kingdom. The Romans testified their approbation of Charles 
by honours more justly his due than those with which they had 
before greeted Lobkowitz. 

The king having left Rome, met his beloved queen upon the 
confines of his kingdom, and remained one day at Gaeta ; after 
which they entered Naples, where the unaffected joy and mutual 
affection between the king and his subjects glowed in their hearts 
and was exhibited in their countenances. The former was con- 
scious of having well fulfilled his part as a militaiy leader and 
king, while the people felt that they had performed their duties 
as citizens and subjects ; in which sentiment, unknown alike 
to slaves and tyrants, resides the happiness of empire, and makes 
even obedience less irksome. On this occasion all display of 
festivities was forbidden by the king, as the spectacle of the 
happiness of a whole kingdom, saved less by the power of its 
armies than by the attachment of its people, was festival enough. 



HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1745-59. 



CHAPTER IV. 

CONTINUATION AND END OP THE REIGN OF CHARLES. 

After the affair of Velletri, and the conclusion of the war 
in Lombardy, the house of Bourbon appeared to Charles and to 
the world secure in the kingdom of the Sicilies. The king, re- 
turning to the cares of peace, wished to indulge his natural taste 
for grandeur in the construction of public monuments ; he had 
commenced, and even finished several, amidst the uncertainties of 
fortune, and the embarrassments of the exchequer ; he added 
others in his days of prosperity, and had more still in contempla- 
tion, when he was called to the throne of Spain. The most re- 
markable were the Mole, the Strada Marinella, the Strada Mergel- 
lina, and, between the two, the building called the Immacolata. 
The whole length of that shore, often broken in upon by the sea, 
and which had been occupied by a dirty, unhealthy, and miserable 
population, was transformed into a beautiful road and promenade, 
the delight of the inhabitants, and an ornament to the city. 

The king and queen, when on their way to Castellamare in a 
gondola, and when returning by land, were attracted by a passing 
view of the charming country in the vicinity of Portici, and Charles 
having learned that the air was salubrious, that there was plenty 
of game twice in the year (quails abounding in that locality), and 
that the sea in the neighbourhood was full of fish, commanded a 
villa to be built there. Upon one of the courtiers reminding him 
that that part of the country lay too near Vesuvius, he replied 
" God, the Immaculate Virgin, and St. Januarius, will protect us. 
The architect, Canovari, made and executed the design. 

Almost at tlie same time the king planned the erection of an 
other villa upon a height near the city called Capo-di-Monte, for 
no other reason than because he heard that the small birds called 



^ 



k 



1745-59. CHARLES OF BOURBON. 83 

beccafichi^ abound in that place during the month of August. 
Many of the works of this monarch owed their origin to his in- 
ordinate passion for the chase ; had his object been nobler, such 
as the promotion of the arts, the protection of the frontiers, or 
commerce, these enormous expenses would have been more worthy 
of a good prince, and have been more thankfully acquiesced in by 
the people. The architect, Medrano, designed the palace of 
Capo-di-Monte ; but when half finished, it was discovered that the 
edifice rested upon extensive grottos, which had been excavated 
in former times to quarry tufo and other stones, and consequently 
immense subterraneous works were necessary to prevent the build- 
ing falling. The money which was thus buried was three times 
the sum expended upon that above ground. The king became 
tired of the affair ; there was no carriage-road leading to the place, 
the idea of opening one was neglected, and the palace itself left 
incomplete. Viewed from the city, it appeared an ancient monu- 
ment, as the half- finished works looked like a ruin ; but the time 
arrived when this incomplete edifice pleased the fancy of other 
kings. 

Charles wished for a new theatre, as the city was only pro- 
vided with few, and those of a low description. To add wonder 
to magnificence, he ordered that it should be the largest in Europe, 
and built in the shortest possible time. The design was again ob- 
tained from Medrano, and the care of its execution confided to one 
Angelo Carasale, a man of low origin, who had risen to fame by 
his genius in architecture, and by his bold and stupendous works. 
He selected the site near the palace, pulled down a great many 
houses, and added a vast extent of ground, so that when the back 
of the stage was laid open, wonderful representations of battles, 
chariots, and horses might be seen in the distance. He com- 
menced his work in March, and finished it in October 1737, and 
on the 4th November, the name-day of Charles, the first scenic 
representation was given. The interior of the theatre was covered 
with glass mirrors, and the reflection of a multitude of candles 
produced such a flood of light as to realize the fable of Olympus. 
A vast and richly decorated compartment was assigned for tlie 
royal family, and as Charles entered the theatre, astonished at so 

^ Beccajichi, fig-peckers. 



84 HISTOEY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1745-59. 

great and beautiful a work, he applauded the architect, while the 
people gave the king the honour as the originator of all this 
splendour. 

In the midst of the universal delight, Charles sent for Carasale, 
and, publicly commending him for his work, he leaned his hand 
upon his shoulder as a sign of his protection and favour. Carasale, 
though not a modest man, respectfully thanked the king by word 
and action. "When this was ended, Charles remarked that as the 
wall of the theatre adjoined that of the palace, it would have been 
more convenient for the royal family to have passed from one 
building to the other by a private passage ; the architect cast 
down his eyes, and the king, adding " We will think about it,'' 
dismissed him. When the representation was over, he found 
Carasale waiting for him, with a request that he would return to 
the palace by the passage he had commanded. In three hours' 
time Carasale had succeeded, by pulling down great walls, erecting 
scaffolding of beams and lathes, and concealing the rudeness of the 
work by carpets and tapestry, and with the assistance of drapery, 
mirrors, and lights, to make a passage both beautiful and scenic 
in its effect ; this sight was almost more like enchantment and^ 
more splendid than the first presented to the king. 

The theatre, which had received the name of San Carh 
tlie genius and good fortune of Carasale, were, for many da^ 
the topic of discourse in the palace and the city. But the envii 
architect was now summoned to give in his accounts, and not 
satisfying the auditors, was threatened with imprisonment. He 
went to court, and had an interview with the king, when he 
reminded him of his royal favours, of the applause of the people, 
of the beauty of his work, appealed to his poverty as a proof of 
his honesty, and left the palace happy, as he thought he per- 
ceived some trace of pity in the countenance of the king ; but 
he was mistaken ; for the inquiries of the tribunal were re- 
newed, and soon afterwards Carasale, conveyed to the fortress of 
Sant' Elmo, was shut up in prison, where he was supported during 
the first months by the hard earnings of his family, and had after- 
wards to eat the bitter bread of captivity. He continued several 
years in prison, where he died ; his sons were forgotten in obscu- 
rity and poverty, and nothing would now remain of the name of 



1745-5D. CHARLES OF BOURBON. 85 

Carasiile, if the excellence and the wonders of his work had not 
preserved the memory of the unhappy artificer. 

Charles ordered the construction of several roads and a fine 
hridge across the Yolturno near Venafro, which works, although 
only intended to indulge his passion for the chase, and therefore 
called Strada di Caccia, were nevertheless of some benefit to the 
surrounding villages and towns. Meanwhile, the roads which would 
have been most useful to the kingdom were wanting. To pass 
through Calabria (even on horseback) was difficult and danger- 
ous, and the Abruzzi little less so. The Strada di Puglia, which 
had been finished as far as Bovino, a royal hunting seat, was not 
continued through the three other provinces ; there were neither 
provincial nor municipal roads, which was as much owing to the 
absence of royal highways as to frauds and errors in the interior 
administrations. All that was beautiful, great, and magnificent 
in the works of Charles were confined to the neighbourhood of the 
metropolis. 

He improved the buildings of the regii studii,^ and raised from 
its foundations (after the designs of the architect Fuga) the royal 
house of refuge for the destitute, which was opened for the recep- 
tion of all the poor in the kingdom. Charles did not see this 
work completed, but already thousands of the poor of both sexes 
were collecting within its walls ; youths who had fallen into vice 
or misery, and vagrants, who were employed in many useful and 
newly-invented arts. In succeeding books I will describe how the 
discipline of the place was improved, and how the building was 
completed, but the first and greatest merit was due to Charles. 

Desirous of emulating the splendour of his ancestors, in the 
palaces of Versailles and of San Ildefonso, and to build a magni- 
ficent palace on a more secure foundation than that near Vesuvius, 
and less exposed to the attacks of a powerful enemy at sea, he chose 
for this purpose the plain of Caserta, at fourteen miles' distance from 
the city. An ancient town of the same name, Casa-Erta, founded 
by the Lombards, was still in existence on a neighbouring moun- 
tain, where, amidst vast ruins were a few buildings containing a 
a scanty population, wlio preferred the rubbish which remained of 
their ancient homes, to the convenience and grandeur of the new 

* Jiegii Sttidn. Musco Borbonico. 



city. As the most eminent architects were dead or had grown 
old, Carasale in a dungeon, and no other in the kingdom equal to 
them in invention, Charles sent to Rome for Luigi Yanvitelli, a 
Neapolitan, who was distinguished by his other works, and the 
first architect in Italy. The palace was founded upon an area of 
415,939 square Paris feet, at an elevation of 106 feet ; magnificent 
columns, massive arches, colossal statues, and marble carvings, 
adorned the face of the edifice, while on the summit of the front 
tympanum was seen the equestrian statue of Charles in bronze. 

The interior of this palace contains precious marbles, statues, 
and pictures by the most celebrated sculptors and painters of that 
age ; inlaid woods, works in stucco, crystals, frescoes, and pave- 
ments of marble and mosaic, besides rare stones ; so that, in short, 
this building alone represents the genius of all the arts of the 
time. It is surrounded on three sides by squares or enclosures, 
and facing the fourth, stretches an extensive garden, nobly adorned 
with obelisks, statues, marble steps, and copious fountains orna- 
mented with figures ; a stream falling suddenly from a height, and 
then more gradually until it spreads out into a lake, from whence 
it is dispersed in rivulets, is seen descending from the opposite hill, 
which is laid out as an English garden, and combines a truly regal 
splendour in art, with the advantages of a mild climate, a fruitfi 
soil, and a perpetual spring. 

The water thus collected, is brought from Monte Tab urn o, by a' 
aqueduct twenty-seven miles long, crossing the mountains Tifatine 
and three wide valleys, and flowing in canals cut in the rocks, or 
carried over high and massive bridges. That over the valley of 
Maddaloni, 1618 feet long, and supported upon piers thirty-two 
feet in thickness, is built in three tiers of arches, rising to an ele- 
vation of 178 feet; and if the inscription on the stones, and the 
memory of man did not tell a diflferent tale, this work, from its 
grandeur and bold conception, might be attributed to the Roman 
period. The waters of Caserta, after irrigating the land, and 
embellishing the gardens and the palace, flow under ground, until 
they join the waters of Carmignano, and reach Naples, where they 
afibrd a copious supply for that large city. 

Among the most successful of Charles's labours, were the excava- 
tions made at Herculaneum and Pompeii. As I am about to describe 



al 

1 



1745-59. CHARLES OP BOURBON. 87 

cities destroyed by the neighbouring volcano, I will first mention 
the two greatest eruptions which took place during this reign, and 
the magnanimous aid aiforded the sufferers by the king. The 
first eruption occurred in the year 1738 ; the disasters it occasioned 
were produced by the quantity of ashes cast forth from the moun- 
tain, which rose to the clouds in the form of a pine-tree ; borne 
along by the wind, they fell in distant villages, and between the 
rain and their own properties were converted into solid masses of 
stone, and thus changed vast tracts of fertile country into a desert. 
The cities which were most injured were the Due Torri, Sarno, 
Palma, Ottaiano, Nola; Avellino, and Ariano. The second eruption, 
in the year 1 750, was more terrific, owing to earthquakes and other 
destructive phenomena, when towns, villages, and rich and culti- 
vated lands were covered with lava. The king, in both instances, 
remitted or diminished the tributes upon the lands which had 
been injured, and assisted and sent presents to the sufferers. At 
the time of the eruption of 1738, the dispute between the king 
and the Pope concerning the right of jurisdiction, being still in 
agitation, the friars and priests whispered in the ears of the people, 
that this scourge was sent by God, to the ministers of Charles, 
that they might desist from troubling the Church and the clergy ; 
but when the volcano ceased their fears vanished, and the contests 
with the Pope continued. 

The origin of Herculaneum is fabulous, that of Pompeii ob- 
scure ; both were flourishing cities of the Campania in the reign 
of Titus Vespasian, when, by a tremendous eruption (described by 
the younger Pliny), Herculaneum was covered with lava,^ and 
Pompeii overwhelmed in ashes and stones vomited by the mountain, 
and afterwards buried under the materials carried down by the 
waters in torrents. The manner of their destruction, therefore, 
was different, but both cities were in one day involved in a common 
ruin. The memory of the place passed away with the generation 
then living, and the site of these superb buildings was sought in 

' " It is a mistake to suppose, as has but partially consolidated by the agency 

been stated by many writers, that [Hercu- of water, which is often poured out in 

lanseum] was overwhelmed by a stream of large quantities during volcanic eniptions." 

lava. The substance with which it is — Edward H. Bunbuky, M.A. See Ar- 

covered is only a kind of volcanic tulF tide " Herculaneum," Smith's Dictionary 

formed of accumulated saud and ashes, of Greek and Roman Geography. 



88 



HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 



1745-5^ 



vain. Thus, from the year 79 in the Christian era, until 17.88, the 
city of Herculaneum remained unknown, and that of Pompeii until 
1750. 

The discovery was accidental ; it happened that in digging wells 
or ditches, some highly-finished and sculptured marbles were ex- 
tracted, and soon afterwards were discovered subterranean vaults, 
then called caverns, but subsequently found to be forums, temples, 
and theatres, which led to the suspicion that the buried cities 
lay in these localities. The king claimed the ruins as public pro- 
perty ; and, causing excavations to be made, drew forth such trea- 
sures in antiquities, that the Museo Borbonico is now one of the 
first in Europe. Among the rarities of Herculaneum are the rolled 
papyri, in which were inscribed the learning of Greece, carbonized 
by the volcano; but science has discovered the means by whicli these 
volumes can be unrolled and laid flat, so as to enable any part of 
the writing to be read. Only a sruall portion of this first city was 
disinterred, as it was covered by massive basalt,^ and by the beau- 
tiful city of Resina, which living city must have been destroyed, 
to bring that to light which was already dead. Pompeii, covered 
with vegetable earths and stones, was extensively excavated, and 
precious articles of antiquity were extracted. Charles, who was 
often present at the w^ork, once discovered a globe of an oval form 
(begrimed with gravel and ashes), hard as stone and heavier than 
the substance of whicli it appeared to be composed. He himself 
laboured several days to open it, and drew forth coins of various 
metals, and at last, almost in the centre of the globe, a gold ring 
ornamented with masks, which, to reward himself for his perseve- 
rance, he placed upon his own finger. It does not lie within the 
province of this history to enter into a description of the wonders 
of these two cities ; but it may be seen by other writers how much 
they have contributed to the improvement of the arts, and to the 
knowledge of the ancients. 

The antiquities were arranged in several rooms of the new palace 
at Portici, and at the same time a Herculaneum academy was 
instituted to illustrate them by philosophy and history. Other 
academies arose during the reign of this king. The university 
" degli studii'' was improved, by lectures on useful subjects being 

^ See note, preceding page. 



1745-59. CHARLES OF BOURBON. 89 

added to the quantity of forensic and theological matter with 
which the teaching there was encumbered. The colleges obtained 
several advantages ; hut the seminaries continued under the same 
discipline as before, because the bishops rejected all secular autho- 
rity, and hated any reform in that which was old. But in spite of 
what Charles did to promote science or literature, education was 
not general. Eminent men, however, sprung up in the midst of 
the popular ignorance. 

I must not omit to mention other measures by Charles which, 
whether deserving of praise or censure, ought not to be passed over 
in silence : he threatened and inflicted severe punishments on all 
who infringed the statutes for the royal chase ; he introduced lot- 
teries into his kingdom, an invention of avarice and despotism ; 
he used means to confine the plague within certain quarters in 
Messina, and finally to extirpate it ; he was the first to license 
public gambling, with cards or dice, for a profit to the exchequer 
of forty thousand ducats annually, but afterwards abolished the 
practice. At the instigation of the courts of France and Rome, 
he censured and proscribed the Society of the Freemasons ; but 
none of his subjects underwent punishment, because a wise and 
Just government is sufficient in itself to interdict, prevent, dissolve, 
and throw discredit upon secret societies. The Jews were banished, 
— that very sect who, seven years before, had come to Naples upon 
the invitation of Charles, and trusting to his promises : but the 
Neapolitan people could with difficulty be persuaded to tolerate 
them ; the Jesuit Father Pepe encouraged the prejudice arising 
from popular ignorance, and petitioned the king, to whom he liad 
free access, to drive the descendants of those who had crucified 
Christ from his Christian kingdom ; and another friar, of the order 
Df St. Francis, revered by the queen for his sanctity, having told 
lier, in the assured tone of a prophet, that she would never have a 
nfiale heir as long as the Hebrew race remained in the kingdom, 
;hey were expelled. The degraded condition of this nation is dig- 
lified by the struggles and constancy with which they have main- 
tained their faith, a virtue acknowledged by all mankind ; while 
he intolerance of the Christian has no apology ; it has not even 
he semblance of a virtue ; it is a remnant and sign of ancient 
jarbarism, and is the more contemptible in us, because we pre- 

VOL. I. 11 



90 IIISTOEY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1745-59. 

sume to call ourselves the most civilized nation upon earth. The 
populace of Naples rejoiced in the banishment of the Jews. 

The same populace, some months before, had risen in revolt, 
because they suspected that the detested tribunal of the Inquisi- 
tion ^Yas to be secretly introduced among them. The power of the 
Pope had been revived by the varying fortunes and dubious result 
of the wars in Italy, and from the eagerness of contending sove- 
reigns to obtain his friendship. In one year he canonized five 
saints, founded a new monastic order, i cherici scalzi (the bare- 
footed friars), and invited Cardinal Spinelli, archbishop of Naples, 
to introduce the tribunal of the Holy Office unobserved into the 
kingdom. This pontiff was Benedict xiv., one of the most highly 
esteemed among the popes. The archbishop appointed councillors 
and notaries, ordered the seal whicli was to be used on trials, pre- 
pared dungeons, and incarcerated several persons for matters of faith, 
forcing two of them to pass through the ceremony of abjuration. 
Emboldened by the success of these first steps, by the silence of the 
people, by the approbation of the pontiff, and by the noted piety of 
Charles, he caused the words Santo Uffizio (holy office) to be inscribed 
upon a stone, and inserted it over the entrance of his dwelling. 

The abhorrence in which the Neapolitans hold this name, is well 
known by our history, which records the civil wars it has occasioned, 
the embassies that were sent to distant kings, and the exemption 
we obtained or bargained for, although at the cost of submission 
and tribute ; and, wonderful to say, a credulous, superstitious, 
ignorant people rose in rebellion at the bare suspicion of the In- 
quisition, refused to recognise it, and even menaced the authority 
of the king, and besieged and conquered a troop of soldiers in 
their own quarters. These were not the acts of the lowest of the 
populace, impelled, as they are wont, by blind fury or by a love of 
turbulence, nor of the upper classes alone, actuated by superior 
intelligence and a desire for freedom, but of every class and condi- 
tion — the luxurious dwellers in the city, and the simple inhabitants 
of the country, all unanimous and resolved, as if moved by one com- 
mon instinct ; and now the very peoj^le who demanded the banish- 
ment of the Hebrew race, who admitted and even endowed the 
new order of the cherici scalzi, and paid a high price to purchase 
the bones and relics of five new saints, when they saw the inscrip- 



1745-59^ CHARLES OF BOURBON. i) I 

tion over the archbisliop's palace, first murmured, then became 
excited, threatened the two cardinals with death, and would have 
broken out into worse excesses, had not the king (informed by the 
Eletto of the people of the real cause of the disturbance, and 
reminded of ancient and recent laws, compacts, and oaths which 
were thus violated), issued an edict, censuring the proceeding of 
tlie archbishop, and ordered the inscription to be taken down, and 
broken to pieces : abolished secrecy in the ecclesiastical jurisdic- 
tion, and restored it to its primary condition, of public trial under 
the laws. Cardinal Landi, who was sent by the Pope to petition 
the king to mitigate the severity of his edict, could obtain nothing, 
and, threatened by the people, hastened his return. The Arch- 
bishop Spinelli was obliged, from the public odium, to resign his 
episcopal seat and quit the city. The edict of Charles was in- 
scribed in marble, and solemnly inserted in the wall of San Lorenzo, 
the Town Hall, and the people who witnessed the ceremony, satis- 
fied and triumphant, presented the king, amidst shouts and accla- 
mations, with thirty thousand ducats. 

The war meantime continued in Lombardy ; from the time of the 
conclusion of the affair at Yelletri, a considerable force from Naples 
accompanied the Spanish army. The contending parties met with 
alternate success and defeat during the whole of 1745, but the fol- 
lowing year proved adverse to the Bourbons, who, surrounded and 
driven back, retreated towards Genoa, a rich and friendly city. 
The Magra, swollen by violent rains, retarded the formation of a 
bridge, and when completed, destroyed and carried it away. The 
enemy was advancing, and the Bourbonists hemmed in between 
them and the river, redoubled their eiforts in the emergency, and 
succeeded in fastening another bridge, which they were passing in 
haste, when the Germans arrived, and intercepted and massacred 
the last files. Our soldiers at length, while still defending them- 
selves, reached the opposite bank, and the hopes and desires of the 
two armies being then reversed, the Spaniards wished to break 
down the bridge, the Germans to preserve it, in order to cross to 
the other side. In the midst of the fight, and when the chances 
seemed equal, a Neapolitan sergeant, of gigantic stature and 
strength, with four of his men, advanced boldly upon the bridge, 
and in the face of the enemy, and while exposed to their fiie. 



92 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1745-59. 

broke it down with hatchets ; but as they performed their work 
hastily, and the bridge gave way sooner than they expected, the 
five remained on the side nearest tlie enemy, and their capture 
or death appeared certain. The sergeant, throwing his tool and 
weapons across to his friends, plunged into the river ; the re- 
maining four followed his example, and all, swimming to their 
own camp, returned unscathed and covered with glory. Tlie 
soldiers received a large reward, and their leader was promoted 
by Charles to the rank of captain. When Horatio, a soldier of the 
Republic, displayed similar valour, his name was handed down to 
posterity ; but that of our generous champion has been omitted by 
the modern historiographers of monarchy. 

The retreat of the Bourbonists continuing with the successes of 
their adversaries, Genoa, abandoned by the former, was taken pos- 
session of by the latter, and a still worse fate was impending over 
her, when the desperate courage of her citizens changed the aspect 
of the wars in Italy. I regret that it is not my task to relate the 
wonderful feats performed by the Genoese people against the dis- 
ciplined troops of Germany, for it seldom falls to the share of the 
historians of Italy to tell of the triumph of the oppressed over their 
tyrants ; the usual theme of their sad story being the misery of the 
conquered, and the success of the oppressors. But it was not thus 
with the city of Genoa in the year 1746, when, after all manner of 
insults and indignities had been endured, and the ferocity, avarice, 
and arrogance of the Germans was still unsatiated, it happened that 
by a trivial cause, a stone thrown by the hand of a child, first the 
rabble, next the people, and lastly the senate, rose to vengeance 
and battle ; tliey fought with so much ardour and success, that they 
drove General Botta (who unhappily was an Italian), with many 
thousand Germans from the city, vanquished and in consternation. 
Genoa closed her gates, and her citizens armed themselves ; the 
resources possessed by a rich and strongly fortified city were want- 
ing to the Germans ; they were alarmed by the numbers of theirj 
enemies, and changed the plan of their campaign. France, Spain,] 
and the King of Naples sent ambassadors, soldiers, and money to' 
the heroic city, whose inhabitants organized numerous bodies of 
troops for their own defence, and the assistance of their allies. 
Everything augured well for the Bourbons in the ensuing year. 



1745 59. CHARLES OP BOURBON. 93 

But the unexpected death of Philip v., and the intentions of 
his successor, Ferdinand vi., being yet unknown, kept all minds 
and preparations in suspense. The new king of Spain, however, 
although desirous of peace, declared that he would continue the 
undertaking commenced by his father, sent fresh troops into Italy, 
confirmed the war, and wrote letters full of affection to Charles. 
The queen, his stepmother, losing nothing either in wealth or 
dignity, resigned her power, and retired into private life in a castle 
at some distance from the palace. 

The war continued with alternate successes for two more years, 
so that the people had' to endure death and many sufferings for 
seven years, without ever arriving at such an extremity as might 
lead to a voluntary or obligatory peace. The hostile parties en- 
countered one another in perpetual battles, for at the time of which 
I write, the science we now call strategy was unknown ; by which 
an army is enabled to move, while avoiding the attacks and obser- 
vations of the enemy, to reach a certain point, determined on for 
military reasons, and to subdue fortresses or cities without a con- 
flict, and preserve their own bases or lines, or occupy the lines or 
bases of the enemy. If the great captains of past ages, and the 
contemporaneous Prince Eugene of Savoy, happened to act in ac- 
cordance with scientific rules, it was owing to native genius, and 
not to knowledge. Frederick ii. of Prussia was the first to extend 
the practice, which was perfected and reduced to rule by Bonaparte, 
commented on by General Jomini and the Austrian Archduke, and 
has become the principle and aim of instruction in schools ; but 
to apply these rules on the field, argues a superior order of military 
genius. By strategy, battles become more rare, fortresses less im- 
portant, and wars of shorter duration. 

But other causes brought the war to a conclusion in 1748 : the 
rulers weary of its continuance, the armies diminished in numbers, 
the finances exhausted, and even, I may add, the miserable condi- 
tion of the people, if this fact ever enters into the consideration 
of royal councils, or the computations of politicians. Half a million 
of men had been taken for the war, seven thousand mercantile 
vessels had been plundered, half Germany and half Italy, with a 
great part of Flanders, had been trampled down or spoiled by the 
soldiery, and innumerable fortresses had been sacked and cities 



94 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OP NAPLES. 1748-59. 

destroyed. The hostile kings desired a cessation of war, and a con- 
gress of ministers accordingly met at Aix-la-Chapelle, where they 
concluded the preliminaries on the 18th of October of that year, 
which, having been ratified by the belligerent sovereigns, laid the 
foundations of a durable peace. I shall only refer to those 
heads which affected the permanent state of Italy. All returned 
to their condition prior to the war ; the King of Sardinia, in 
accordance with the treaty of Vormazia, was to possess Vigevano 
and part of the Pavese, with the county of Anghiera ; the Duke 
of Modena was restored to his States in Italy, and received the 
value of the fiefs he had lost in Hungary ; Don Philip, Infant of 
Spain, the second son of Philip v. by Elizabeth Farnese, had the 
duchies of Parma, Piacenza, and Guastalla, but on condition of 
their reverting to the present owners if Don Philip should die 
without issue, and if the King of Naples should succeed to the 
throne of Spain. The Republic of Genoa was to continue un- 
changed, and no allusion having been made to the Sicilies, the 
right of King Charles was confirmed. In the history of this long 
and sanguinary war, two facts alone are immortalized, and these 
are not battles won, nor the valour or success of the leaders, but 
instances of patriotic virtue in the people ; namely, the loyalty of 
the Neapolitans and their efforts to sujDport their king, and the 
wonderful enthusiasm shown by the Genoese in putting down the 
tyranny of a barbarous and foreign soldiery. 

No slight fears were still entertained in Italy, lest the dominion 
of Tuscany, disputed by the Emperor Francis and the King of 
Naples, sliould lead to future wars ; but this evil was averted by 
the proposal of a double marriage, which would at some future 
time make a daughter of the House of Austria queen of the Two 
Sicilies, and a princess of Naples Grand Duchess of Tuscany ; 
mere suggestions at that time, which were afterwards realized. An- 
other disjoute arose concerning the island of Malta, but which was 
speedily settled. After the loss of Rhodes, Charles v. had bestowed 
Malta on the Knights of Rhodes, in lief to the kingdom of the Two 
Sicilies, to whose king they were to send a falcon annually as a 
tribute from the Order ; and when vacancies occurred in the epis- 
copal chair, the knights were to propose three candidates, one of 
whom was to be selected by the king. These public acknow- 



1748 59. CHARLES OF BOURBON. 95 

ledgments of vassalage had fallen into disuse for more than two 
centuries, when Charles wished to revive them ; but opposed by 
the Grand-Master of the Order, he caused the trade vvith Malta to 
be interrupted, and their benefices in the Two Sicilies to be seques- 
trated. The Grand- Master invoked the authority and intervention 
of the Pope, who wrote letters of remonstrance to the king, upon 
which Charles consented to the renewal of commerce, and the 
liberation of the benefices, besides other acts of conciliation, but 
retained and substantiated for himself and his successors their 
ancient claims upon the island. 

The people of Europe were reassured by these pacific mea- 
sures, and the king now gave his attention more exclusively 
to national reforms. He desired, and his minister Tanucci 
laid a scheme, for the suppression of feudal pretensions ; by the 
pragmatic sanction of 1738, Charles had deprived the barons of 
many of their privileges, which he however restored to them in 
1 744, as a recompense for their services during that year's cam- 
paign. The warmth of gratitude which led to so imprudent a con- 
cession, cooled down in time, but until the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle 
he did not venture to risk offending the most powerful body in the 
State ; besides, the baronial revenues, however unjust or of foreign 
origin, were so closely interwoven with the habits of the country, 
that, totally to abolish them, would hav^e appeared an injustice 
even to those who would have profited by the change ; therefore 
the king and Tanucci, without touching the interests of the barons, 
their lands, revenues, rights, or profits, diminished their authority, 
and by abolishing many jurisdictions, by subjecting the sentences 
of the baronial judges to appeal, by diminishing the number of 
armed retainers, and laying down rules for their punishment, they 
weakened the power of the mero e misto^ jurisdiction, the principal 
instrument of the tyranny of the barons. Soon afterwards, sundry 
personal obligations were abolished, and it was from that time 
established by law, that the power of criminal jurisdiction was 
never again to be conceded on the occasion of any new or renewed 
investitures of fiefs. By another law it was decreed that the rights 
of the community over feudal lands were inalienable by time. 
This produced law-suits, and as the judges resided in the city 

* Mero e miato. Absolute and undefined, or the seignorial jurisdiction of the barons. 



96 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1748-59. 

under the eye of the king, far from the i^ower of the barons, and 
in an age of franchises, they rarely if ever gave sentence against 
the Commons. To these acts of justice Charles added arts of 
policy ; he invited the great barons to his court, where, by flatter- 
ing their tastes for luxury and vanities, he retained them near his 
person ; and when they came to reside in the city, the lesser 
barons, from ambition, followed their example. The fiefs were thus 
relieved from the presence of their feudal lords, and their armed 
retainers, once necessary for their protection and the maintenance 
of their power, became a burden and incumbrance, and were there- 
fore diminished, allowing the provinces to breathe again. The 
population of the metropolis, already large, was increased ; the 
families of the great nobles were impoverished by their extrava- 
gant luxury, and by the neglect of their own estates, which, though 
evils, were not commensurate to the good arising from the depres- 
sion of feudalism. The sentiments of the people underwent a 
change ; the barons were not as much revered as formerly, and 
feudalism being less sanctioned by law, the way was gradually 
opened for still greater reforms. The structure of the system was 
immense, yet it fell, in the year 1810, by the efforts of succeeding 
kings, though the merit of having struck the first blow is due to 
Charles. 

This was a happy time for both king and subjects ; the viceregal 
oppressions were forgotten, those of the barons alleviated, and peace 
was secure. The palace rejoiced in a numerous progeny, provi- 
sions were abundant, and harmony existed between the people and 
their rulers. A small body of learned men, attached to their 
country and anxious for reform, were included in the Government, 
in order to assist Charles in the promotion of universal freedom : and 
the transition of the monarchy from feudal to absolute power was 
looked upon as a necessary stage in the life of nations: therefore 
the study of the king, the interests of the people, and the hopes 
of the reformers aimed at one goal, towards which they all hastened. 
The clergy and barons alone had separate interests, but the former, 
while champing the bit in secret, waited their opportunity, while 
the latter, from folly and empty pride, were delighted with the 
titles and decorations of nobility which the king lavishly dispensed. 

But his labours, like those of other kings in the past cen- 



1748-49. CHARLES OP BOURBON. 97 

turv, created a new class in society, which, gathering up the 
spoils of those which had been depressed, acquired their rights or 
their possessions, and was called the Third Estate — a name still 
earlier adopted in France, where, from their holding a place he- 
tween the highest nobles and the populace, they in reality consti- 
tuted the people — that most powerful element in the composition of 
all nations, and who have brought about those revolutions in our 
era, which have laid the foundation for the constitutions of king- 
doms. Before these reforms, the barons and priests enjoyed wealth, 
authority, and jurisdiction, with the administration of the communal 
property as well as of justice, and retained all the branches of power 
in their own hands. The lowest orders had to bear the burdens 
of the State, and to obey. After the reforms, the great nobles, 
who were collected in the city and the palace, having obtained the 
highest position it appeared to them fortune could confer, and 
being desirous to maintain that eminence, centred their hopes in 
titles, honours, and the atmosphere of a court, gloried in a life of 
haughty indolence, and despised all active ambition ; while the 
people, who at one time had been without thought, and only desir- 
ous of ease, and had never aspired to share in the government of 
the State, saw the possibility of rising to influence. The great, 
who had fallen from their position through misfortunes, or been 
induced, from the love of gain, or by an active disposition, to 
abandon the indolent life of their order, and those men who had 
risen by their industry or talents from the populace, contributed 
to swell the numbers of the Third Estate. Always energetic and 
increasing, this class possessed the true elements of political 
strength, numbers, and movement; and thus by the nature of so- 
ciety the Third Estate arose, and became the associate and instru- 
ment of monarchy in its transition from feudal to absolute power. 
The Third Estate being thus powerful, it is important to inquire 
what and who were the individuals in Naples who gathered up the 
baronial and ecclesiastical spoils ; for the character and interests 
of the men of whom it was composed became gradually identified 
with the character and interests of the government. The reader 
must be here reminded that the wealth of the two orders had only 
been lightly touched by the exchequer, and that the reforms of 
Cliarles had been confined to the right of jurisdiction ; the authority 

VOL. I. I 



98 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1748-49. 

and credit of the ecclesiastical tribunals had been diminished ; 
the right of asylum was almost entirely abolished ; many criminal 
or civil cases which had lain within the ecclesiastical jurisdiction 
had been handed over to the secular courts ; disputed cases in fiefs 
or feudal lawsuits were now tried by magistrates appointed by the 
king ; and the authority of the royal provincial courts, as well as of 
the tribunals of the nobles, was diminished. All that these classes 
had lost in power had turned to the advantage of the courts of com- 
mon law ; and, as the lower orders were admitted into them with- 
out difficulty, the Third Estate w^as composed chiefly of lawyers. 
Offices, authority, and profit fell into their hands ; the king chose 
his councillors and ministers from the law tribunals ; the forensic 
art became political science, and amidst the vicissitudes of the king- 
dom, the acts of the Government took their character and aspect 
from lawyers. 

Lawyers are timid in danger, abject in adversity, and ready to 
applaud the ruling powers ; confident in their own cleverness and 
ingenuity, they are in the habit of defending the most absurd opi- 
nions, and, though rivals among themselves in their profession, 
and often opposed to one another, they are always friends. The 
character of their eloquence is in itself an evil ; the defendant 
does not keep to the pleadings, but the aim of his oration is to 
persuade the judges, to convince or touch them by an appeal to 
their feelings, to attract the audience to the side of the speaker, 
and to gain the votes of the majority ; if he succeed, though only 
for the moment, it is enough ; his words are forgotten as soon as 
spoken, nothing remains but his fee and the boast of victory, and 
the more unjust the cause, the greater his glory ; thus it hap- 
pens that advocates are not ashamed to employ exaggerations or 
even falsehoods, which are evanescent as their breath ; that the pure 
and simple logic of jurisprudence is changed into popular and 
seductive harangues, and the forum into a tribune — evils suffi- 
ciently dangerous in their effects for the ends of justice and pub- 
lic morals, but ruinous and pestilential when introduced into 
politics, and employed in revolutions of the State, when reason and 
truth are most needed to check the violence of the lower orders, 
and to moderate party zeal ; in place of which intrigue, falsehood, 
and license prevail, and hence the origin of much public evil. 



1748-49. CHARLES OF BOURBON. 99 

If the reforms of Charles had extended further, they would 
have included, besides the Church and the fiefs, the army, com- 
merce, and the division of property, in which case the Third Estate 
would have comprehended military men, merchants, and landed 
proprietors, and thus have changed the whole condition of the king- 
dom. But these reforms emanated from Tanucci, influenced in- 
deed by noble motives, but limited in their aim to the destruction 
of the feudal system, and the power of the papacy. Narrow in 
his views, and wholly a lawyer, he neglected the army, believing 
it to be a useless burden on the State in times of peace, and 
trusting the safety of ;his master's crown to his relations with 
Spain and France, and to the new connexions he was forming 
with the House of Austria, and with the princes of Italy ; while, 
ignorant of political economy and of the theories of finance and 
administration, a foreigner and covetous of power, he was natur- 
ally more attached to the king than to the State. He owed his 
reputation to his resistance to the pontiffs, to the shock he had 
given the feudal system, to the purity of his life, his conciliatory 
manners, and, above all, to the long peace the kingdom enjoyed 
under his administration — a virtue which throws a kindly veil 
over the faults of rulers. 

The vices of the Third Estate were transferred to the Govern- 
ment, and imparted to the people a character not their own : from 
hence sprang despotic laws, counterfeit treaties, hollow promises, 
and a certain jargon of arguments or words, substituted for the 
immutable maxims of duty and justice ; for law^^ers assume that 
such a treaty is null because made by necessity, such an oath is of 
no effect because not consented to by conscience ; that compacts 
agreed to with subjects are not to be kept, because a king cannot 
treat with his vassals ; they call the occupation of a country a 
conquest, and that which is in reality the lawful obedience of the 
people, rebellion, besides many other subversions of truth and 
justice, which have been listened to and tolerated in our days. 

To return to the history of Charles. The king and his sub- 
jects were equally enjoying the blessings of peace, when their 
hopes of increasing prosperity were interrupted by the death of 
Ferdinand vi. King of Spain, who, dying without issue, left the 
throne vacant for Charles of Naples. Hardly was the event 



100 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1759. 

known, before tlie Spanish ministers proclaimed Charles, and go- 
verned in his name. Speedy messengers having advised the king 
of what had taken place, he appointed his mother. Queen Eliza- 
beth, regent of Spain. She was living in retirement in a castle of 
her own, but had neither resigned her taste for royalty, nor her 
ambitious hopes of glory and command. When by the succession 
to this kingdom, it became necessary for Charles to provide imme- 
diately for that of Naples, and to transmit the sovereignty to an- 
other, he was agitated by contending feelings ; for though blessed 
with a numerous family, six sons and two daughters, and his 
wife, the delight of his palace, still young, his first-born (already 
twelve years of age) was infirm in body, deficient in mind, and 
incapable of conducting the affairs, or even of entering into the 
enjoyments of life ; and his cure was despaired of The resolution 
of the father, therefore, wavered between breaking through the 
natural order of succession, and publishing the imbecility of his 
son to the world, or making over the greater crown and its succes- 
sion to a man of weak intellect, and in declining health. The 
claims of the State prevailed. He convoked a meeting of the 
barons, magistrates, ministers, and ambassadors of foreign courts, 
besides the most learned physicians, w^ho were ordered to examine 
Prince Philip before witnesses. The imbecility of the unhappy 
Infant was described and authenticated in a document w^hich the 
king, almost in tears, commanded to be read to the Assembly. 

Philip being excluded, the second son, Charles Antony, was 
named to succeed to the throne of Spain, and the third, Ferdinand, 
to that of the Sicilies ; he was in robust health, intelligent, and 
had passed his eighth year ; the king had already determined upon 
the regency to be appointed for the government of the kingdom ; 
and on the 6th of Octftber of that year 1759, surrounded by his 
wife and children, and in the presence of the ambassadors and 
ministers, and of the future regents, the Eletti of the city, and the 
principal barons, he caused a deed to be read, by which he pro- 
claimed that, — Having been called by Providence to the throne of 
Spain and of the Indies, he renounced the crown of Naples in 
favour of one of his sons, as, in accordance with the terms of the 
European treaties, the two monarchies must remain separate and 
independent. He destined his second son Charles (Philip, his 



1759. CHARLES OP BOURBON. 101 

eldest, being incapable of reigning) to succeed him in Spain, and 
his third son, Ferdinand, in the kingdom of the Sicilies. He 
released the last from all obligations to himself, yielded to him 
liis riglits to the throne, and commanded the people to obey him 
as their king. He gave the youthful king a council of regency, 
until he should attain his majority, which he fixed at the comple- 
tion of his sixteenth year. The succession to the throne of the 
Sicilies was to descend by the eldest male line, and all contingen- 
cies were provided for and rules laid down for the future. In the 
event of failure of heirs in the male line direct as well as collateral, 
the female was to succeed according to the order of age ; but 
should the female line fail, the crown was to revert to the king of 
Spain, to be by him ceded as a free and independent kingdom to 
his second son : Charles further prayed that God would prosper 
the people, and trusted that the provisions of this act would be 
permanent, and that his labours as a king might be rewarded by 
a prolonged peace. Having thus spoken, he turned to his son 
Ferdinand, and gave him his blessing, exhorted him to love his 
subjects, to continue faithful to his religion, to do justly and show 
mercy ; and unsheathing his sword (the same which Louis xiv. 
gave to Philip v. and he to Charles), and placing it in the hand of 
the new king, he addressed him for the first time with the title of 
Majesty, saying, " Keep it for the defence of thy religion and of 
thy subjects :" and concluded by making the same sign over Fer- 
dinand, as has been already recorded Philip made over him. The 
foreigners present acknowledged the new king, and the subjects 
took their oath of allegiance. Charles then appointed the regency, 
gave them his instructions, and repeating his prayers for the ge- 
neral prosperity, left the room, followed by the praises and bless- 
ings of all present. 

That same day he prepared for his departure. He registered 
the accounts of his kingdom, and left injunctions and precepts to 
his son, which though not indeed remarkable for their ingenuity, 
were prudent and benevolent. He took nothing with him belong- 
ing to the crown of Naples, ordering that the jewels, treasures, 
and paraphernalia of royalty should be noted down, and consigned 
to the ministers of the new king, and even included the ring 
which he wore on his finger, and which ho had found amidst the 



102 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1759. 

excavations of Pompeii ; it is of no value either for material or 
workmanship, but, left by him as the property of the State, is now 
shown in the museum, less as a remarkable relic of antiquity, than 
as a proof of the conscientiousness of Charles. He appointed a 
preceptor for the young king, and recommended the Infant Philip, 
whom he left in the palace in Naples, to his care. He distributed 
titles, honours, and presents, as the rewards of fidelity or services ; 
and that same day before sunset, he, with his wife, two daughters, 
and four sons, went on board a ship belonging to the Spanish 
fleet, which consisted of sixteen men of war and a number of 
frigates. They had quitted the ports of Ferrol and Cadiz, and 
had arrived in Na]>les about the end of September, for the service 
of the king ; the Court -of Spain was at that time the most punc- 
tilious in Europe. 

All the inhabitants of the city witnessed the departure of 
Charles. The houses, in our mild climate, are not covered with 
pointed roofs or leads, but with flat terraces, from whence the 
beautiful shores which enclose the bay can be seen, and those who 
could not reach the mole or the harbour, looked down from them 
with grief and heavy forebodings at their monarch, hardly more 
to be envied than they. The recollection of his virtues, his muni- 
ficence, and the buildings he had founded (which might be seen 
from the city), with the number and silence of the spectators, were 
at once the cause and the evidence of their well-founded and 
universal regret ; and although the laws, tribunals, the character 
and name of the government continued the same, the people did 
not cease to lament his absence, and their sorrow appeared almost 
to presage the calamities awaiting them under future reigns. 



BOOK II. 
REIGN OF FERDINAND IV. 

1759-1790. 

/ 

CHAPTER I. 

MINORITY OF THE KING. 

Towards the end of 1759, Ferdinand of Bourbon, who had not 
yet completed his eighth year, being king, the regents were Do- 
menico Cattaneo, Prince of San Nicandro ; Giuseppe Pappacoda, 
Prince of Centola ; Pietro Bologna, Prince of Camporeale ; Michele 
Reggio, President of Malta and Admiral of the Fleet ; Domenico 
Sangro, Gommander-in- Chief of the Army ; Jacopo Milano, Prince 
of Ardore ; Lelio Caraifa, Captain of the Guards ; and Bernardo 
Tanucci. The king bore the titles of Ferdinand iv. King of tlie 
Two Sicilies and Jerusalem,^ Infant of Spain, Duke of Parma, 
Piacenza, and Castro, and hereditary Grand Duke of Tuscany. 
The regents, trained to submission under the viceregal govern- 
ment, and inured to servitude in the court, were now in the 
decline of age, and Tanucci alone amongst them all, undertook 
the burden of aifairs, and was considered the head of the regency ; 
this did not, however, rouse the jealousy of the others, for, inex- 
perienced and without the ambition to rule, they were ready to 
obey him, who, both by nature, and because his power was undis- 
puted, behaved towards them with courtesy and respect. The 
king's tutor was the Prince San Nicandro, who, though respect- 

^ The title of King of Jerusalem was liis Queen, the daughter of John, descended 

conceded to the Emperor Frederic II., when from Baldwin titular king of Jerusalem, 

he was crowned by Honorius iii. King of and the title has ever since been retained 

the Sicilies. He obtained it in right of by the kings of the Sicilies. 



104 HISTOKY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1759-60. 

able in conduct, was ignorant of science or letters, and while only 
desirous of indulging his pupil, he was persuaded by Tanucci not 
to cultivate the intellect of the young Prince too highly, and that 
mediocrity of mind was most eligible, in the sovereign of a petty 
state, for the enjoyment of the pleasures of authority. 

To the genuine grief of the palace and city which succeeded the 
departure of Charles, followed rejoicings at the accession of Fer- 
dinand, who, after remitting the punishments for sundry crimes, 
liberated many prisoners, gave assurance of pardon to worse crimi* 
nals, and then, with pomp and regal ceremonies, assisted in the 
cathedral at the hymns of thanksgiving, which were sung in the 
Chapel of St. Januarius. The regents next commanded that the 
barons, magistrates, and deputies from the communes should pre- 
sent themselves on stated days at the palace, there to acknow- 
ledge the new king, and to take the oath of fidelity and obedience. 
All hastened to obey, and trusting to the memory of his father, to 
the councils of the good minister, and to the prospect of a long 
peace, they anticipated a mild and happy reign. The king, fol- 
lowing the example of his predecessors, demanded the investiture 
of his kingdom from the Pope, which, being granted, he, on thj 
4th February 1 760, signed and swore, in the presence of the legate 
Cardinal Orsini, the oath called " Of homage and vassalage to thj 
most high PontiiF," promising thereby not to promote his own ele( 
tion as Emperor of the Romans,^ or King of Germany, or soverei| 
of Lombardy or Tuscany ; and in the event of his election to th^ 
same, to refuse his assent. 

The regents governed in obedience to the precepts left thei 
by Charles, as well as by fresh instructions which arrived froi 
Spain, and were communicated to Tanucci in the form of sugges 
tions, and sometimes even of commands. This private correspon( 
ence facilitated the designs of the minister, by rendering hi^ 
colleagues still more amenable to his judgment in certain underJ 
takings, disapproved of by their consciences ; these were, emancipa^ 
tion from the jurisdiction of Rome, and the enfranchisement of th< 

^ This condition was first imposed by to renounce all pretensions to the empii 

Clement iv. on Charles of Anjou, when for him and his successors. — See Ma< 

he granted him the investiture of the king- chiavelli, vol. i. p. 36. 
dom of the Sicilies, under the obligation 



1760. FERDINAND IV. 105 

government from priestly domination while subjecting the eccle- 
siastics of the kingdom to the secular government ; which claims 
of tlie State appeared sinful to the vulgar minds of the regents ; 
but one kind of servility yielding before another, the real or sup- 
posed commands of Charles prevailed over the silent warnings of 
conscience. Tims, Tanucci contrived by despatches, ordinances, 
and decisions of the regency, so to change the face of aifairs, and 
to create so many new relations and wants in society, that when 
the king attained his majority and assumed the reins of govern- 
ment, he could not undo the work already done, without producing 
mischief and disorder everywhere. Ferdinand was, therefore, forced 
to continue and proceed onwards in a path which was irrevocable ; 
and thus, while presenting the reader with a summary of all that was 
effected in matters of jurisdiction during the thirty years described 
in this book, I shall only record the wisdom of one man, Tanucci. 

As first in importance, I shall mention the pragmatic sanctions 
issued by the regents and the king, upon questions relating to the 
tribunals of Rome, by which the ministers of the Crown disposed 
of the property and land of deceased bishops, abbots, and incum- 
bents, and applied the revenues of vacant sees to secular purposes. 

Several monasteries were suppressed ; two in Calabria, which 
had been receptacles for worthless characters ; one in the Basili- 
cata ; four in Puglia ; three in the Abruzzi ; and twenty-eight in 
Sicily : all for different reasons, by an exercise of the sovereign 
power. The property of these monasteries reverted to the com- 
monwealth. 

The ecclesiastical tithes were first reduced, next disputed, and 
lastly abolished. 

Subsequently, when obstacles had been removed, and the minds 
of the people had been prepared for still greater reforms, acquisitions 
in mortmain were interdicted, monasteries, churches, charitable 
foundations, the property of confraternities, seminaries, and col- 
leges, were declared to be in manua morta, dead in law ; and under 
the head of acquisitions were comprehended all kinds of new 
property, additions to houses or monasteries, the foundations of 
new churches or chapels, the patrimony^ of priests, and the dowry 

* Patrimony of priests. No man could tain extent of land assigned him ; and if 
enter the priesthood without having a cer- his family were too poor to give the required 



106 HISTOEY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1760. 

of nuns, if they exceeded the limits fixed by law, as well as alms 
given for feasts, for processions, and masses. This wise law for- 
bade notaries to indite wills by which new acquisitions could pass 
into the hands of such persons, prevented exchanges of property,^ 
and made emphyteusis, long leases, and leases renewed to the same 
lessees equal to censi / so that, while the mainmort continued to 
receive the payment for the land, he lost the right of actual 
possession. 

These measures, which were too enlightened for the times, were 
opposed by the ignorance of the people, and evaded by the cun- 
ning of the clergy. A devout lady in her will named " her soul" 
heir to her property : Giovan Battista Latilli of Bitonto, dying sud- 
denly, the bishop and parish priest together made the will "for 
the soul," tying up a large portion of the inheritance for the cele- 
bration of masses ; the Bishop of Bisceglia made a similar will 
*'/or the soul" of Francesco Pascullo, killed ; and the vicar of the 
diocese in Pisticce made one '^for the souV of the priest Lisanti, 
who had died intestate. All these wills were revoked by order of 
the government ; the bishops were censured, and wills in which 
property was bequeathed to the soul and for the soul were prohi- 
bited by law. The natural heirs succeeded to their inheritance, 
and in the case of Pascullo, who had no heirs, the community of 
Bisceglia inherited his property. 

By these means the secular government contrived to dimi- 
nish the inordinate wealth of the Church, while by other laws, the 
pretensions of the pontiffs, which they claimed as rights, were 
lessened. The lay jurisdiction was enlarged, and the ecclesiastical 
proportionably restricted, and an advocate for the Crown appointed 
to watch over the rights of the sovereign was added to the " misto" 
tribunal, and to the delegate of the royal provincial court ; both 
which magistracies have been referred to in the preceding book. 

The number of priests was diminished ; the ten for every 

patrimony, it was sometimes advanced by ^ Censi. — The deeds by which land 

a friend, thus securing the Church from rented remained in the hands of the same 

being burdened by a poor priesthood. person as long as the rent was paid, while 

emphyteusis, or land held in jure ein- 
* Exchange of property. — It was not phyteutlco, was originally only retained 
unusual for ecclesiastical property to be for a term of years, and upon certain con- 
exchanged for adjoining land, if convenient. ditions. 



I7r,0. FERDINAND IV. 107 

thousand souls, allowed by Charles, became the law of the State ; 
after a time the sacerdotal friars were included in the ten, and 
finally the ten were reduced to five. 

Priests or deacons without a patrimony were not allowed to be 
ordained, nor could their patrimony be increased or fixed at an 
amount to injure the family. 

Only sons were forbidden to enter the priesthood, and when 
there was one priest already in the family, a second was not 
permitted. 

If any bull or charter of the pontifi*, whether recent, old, or of 
distant date, had not received the royal assent, it was declared of 
no efiect ; " nor could usage, sufferance, nor the negligence of 
former monarchs suffice," such are the words of the edict, " to 
make them lawful" The royal assent was thus defined : " The 
royal will, inalienable, which can never set limits to its own powers, 
nor surpass them ;'* and in other edicts, " The concessions relating 
to ecclesiastical matters made or consented to by the king, may be 
dissolved at the pleasure of the same king, or by the kings, his succes- 
sors. The wills of founders may be suppressed or changed at the 
good pleasure of the king. Ecclesiastics are to depend upon the king, 
and the magistrates appointed by him; and there is no dignity 
upon earth which has the right or power to derogate from what is 
here set forth." 

After these laws had been applied in many cases, and repeated 
in the acts of the government, they gradually came to guide the 
practice and opinions of the magistrates in their judicial decisions, 
and to be respected by the people. It was now forbidden to appeal 
to Rome without the royal permission ; the provisions made by 
the Roman chancery for the incumbents of benefices were annulled 
by the king ; the grants of the pontiffs upon episcopal revenues 
were stopped ; the Pope was forbidden to unite, separate, or change 
the boundaries of dioceses ; the rules of the Roman chancery were 
abolished ; and no nuncio was accepted who had not been approved 
of by the king. Marriage was defined as by its nature a civil con- 
tract, and the religious ceremony an accessory ; lawsuits connected 
with marriage were placed within lay competency, or if tried by 
the bishops, through a power delegated to them by the king. This 
was established in practice in the case of the Duke di Maddaloni, 



108 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1760. 

who wished to dissolve his marriage by an article of the Council of 
Trent, which provided for such cases. The name, rank, and wealth 
of both parties made this the most famous suit of those times, and 
the nuncio was therefore anxious to bring it before the tribunal of 
the nunciature ; but the king having appointed the magistrate by 
whom the case was to be decided, confirmed the law by which 
marriage was to be considered a civil contract. 

The power of the Neapolitan bishops was increased by these 
means, at the expense of Rome, although the episcopal authority 
within the country was restricted and humbled. Bishops were 
prohibited from meddling with public instruction, or printing any- 
thing not subject to the common censorship, and approved by the 
king. Episcopal censures, as well as trials for moral offences, and 
the power of incarceration, were forbidden. Personal immunities 
were next abolished, begging for religious purposes prohibited, eccle- 
siastical fees subjected to a tariff, charitable institutions released 
from loans to bishops, and certain episcopal extortions, whose claims 
were so ancient that their origin was forgotten, were for ever 
revoked ; — the decree was thus worded : " The bishop cannot pre- 
scribe laws as supreme." 

I must here remind the reader, that when, in 1746, the Pope 
and Cardinal Spinelli attempted to introduce the tribunal of tlu 
Holy Office, and the people rose in rebellion, quiet was not restorec 
until every trace of the detested tribunal had disappeared, and unti 
(as a security for the future) four of the people were elected witl 
the name and charge of deputies to guard against the introduction 
of the Holy Office. These persons, after the departure of Charles 
demanded from the king his successor, the confirmation of th^ 
privileges granted by his predecessor, to the prayers, tribute, oj 
violence of the people. The regents, anxious to satisfy thei 
just demands, reproduced the edicts of Charles, which were con^ 
firmed and sworn to by his successor ; and shortly before the kin| 
attained his majority, when enjoining the magistrates to watcl 
over the rights of the sovereignty, in order to prevent the revive 
of those evil practices of the Court of Rome which had with diffi-^ 
culty been extirpated by the wisdom of the two Bourbon kingsj 
the regents imposed an obligation on the royal chamber of Santi 
Chiara, and on the delegate of the royal court of judicature, as wel 



17G0. FERDINAND IV. 109 

as the advocate for the Crown, to instruct the ruler and his subjects 
by means of popular works, in tlie true doctrines of the Christian 
religion, to reconcile the Government with the priesthood, and the 
decisions of the magistrates with the consciences of the people. 

While the regents were thus engaged, the Prince of San 
Nicandro attended to the health and studies of the king, who, 
blessed from his birth with a robust constitution, and his time 
devoted to athletic exercises, acquired daily more muscular power, 
and delighted in feats of strength, in which he was encouraged by 
his preceptor, who was proud of this proof of his physical develop- 
ment. The game-laws w^ere revived, as well as punishments, 
including flogging for trespassers ; the woods were filled with wild 
animals, the number of keepers were increased, and as Ferdinand 
surpassed even Charles in his immoderate passion for the chase, 
new forests were added to the old. The king was tw^elve years 
of age. Exercise and pleasure consumed many liours of the day, 
and diverted his mind from studies. His masters were men of the 
greatest celebrity and learning, but sometimes time, sometimes the 
will was wanting, and his instruction was entirely neglected or 
seldom attended to. The king was seen growing up in bodily 
strength and mental ignorance, to the future peril of the State. 

As a child he disliked, and as a man he was ashamed, to con- 
verse with men of learning. He loved to display his skill, or boast 
of his experience in bringing down swans or stags, in hitting 
birds flying, or breaking-in horses ; of his sagacity as a fisherman, 
and how he was first in the race — accomplishments befitting 
man in a savage state, but admired by the common people who 
had been trained in the manners of Spain. As years progressed, 
the rude tastes of the king likewise increased, and having become 
the absolute sovereign of a wealthy monarchy when he had hardly 
reached man's estate (being only sixteen years old), he wasted 
his time in pleasures, and in domineering over youths like him- 
self, ignorant, and fond of athletic sports. Skill in these exercises, 
strength, a dissipated life, and other vulgar tastes, became objects 
of ambition among his subjects, and more especially among the 
nobles, the companions of the king, or admired by him in his 
court. He was so partial to these barbarous amusements, that a 
long life and reign of varied fortunes could not suffice to banish 



110 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1760(53. 

them. He was already a husband and father wlien at Portici, after 
instructing a body of soldiers, he called Liparotti, in the use of 
arms, he set up a booth in the camp, and himself attired in the 
dress, and with all the apparatus of a sutler, assumed that calling, 
selling food and wine at a low price, whilst the courtiers, and some- 
times his queen, acted the part of the attendants and the hostess. 
Once on a time when playing at ball, he happened to notice 
among the spectators a lean hungry-looking man, his hair 
powdered, and attired in the black and shining dress of an abate. 
The king determined to amuse himself at his expense, by making 
him ridiculous ; he whispered in the ear of one of his courtiers, 
who was seen to leave the place and return with a blanket, which 
four of the stoutest of those who had been engaged in the game 
(the king being one of them), held out by the corners. The abate 
was suddenly seized by the servants, or creatures of Ferdinand, 
and hurried into the arena of the game, forced into the blanket, 
and tossed several times in the air, falling back again in awkward 
attitudes amidst the laughter and shouts of the king and the 
rabble, who anticipated a succession of similar low and barbarous 
diversions. This abate happening to be Signer Mazzinghi, a noble 
Florentine, the Court of Tuscany complained to the Courts of 
Naples and Spain ; but, as the claims of a private individual could 
not disturb the harmony existing between princes, it was left for 
history to revenge Mazzinghi. Escaping from the inhospitable 
city, and ashamed to return to his country, he remained a few 
months at Rome, where he died of melancholy. 

Several times every year, after fishing in the lakes of Patria and 
of Fusaro, the king sold the fish, assuming the manners and dress 
of a fishmonger, and bargaining as eagerly as any. Neither sick- 
ness nor death in his family, nor unsuccessful wars, nor the calami- 
ties of his kingdom, nor the loss of a crown, could turn him from the 
pleasures of the chase nor from vulgar amusements. These exer- 
cises, and the fatigue which followed, idleness, much eating, and 
prolonged sleep, filling all the hours of the day, consumed the time 
which should have been devoted to the cultivation of his mind, or 
the government of the State. He never opened a book from a love 
of study, or read a paper from interest in public affairs ; and, as 
the regents ruled the kingdom during his minority, so his minis- 



1760-63. FERDINAND IV. Ill 

ters or his wife ruled it wlien lie became independent. As he 
found it tedious to subscribe his name to the acts of the govern- 
ment, he ordered them to be signed in his presence and impressed 
with his signet, which he jealously guarded. Impatient under 
every exertion of mind, the councils of state disgusted him, and 
he therefore rarely summoned, and quickly dissolved them, for- 
bidding inkstands, to avoid the delay caused by writing. I give 
these particulars, as they may account for many succeeding events 
which would otherwise appear incredible. 

In the year 1763, an expected scarcity in corn induced the rulers 
and the citizens to fill the public and private storehouses with all 
expedition. The remedy proved in itself an evil, because by laying up 
so much grain in reserve, a superfluity was provided for the future, 
while the present wants of the people were neglected. This con- 
firmed the scarcity in the commencement of the year 1 764, and 
made it general. The anxiety and complaints of the people, the 
mistakes of the Government, the rapacity of the merchants, with 
the profits which fell to the few, always the case in every public 
calamity, produced greater evils and dangers ; the poor were seen 
dying of want, it was said that the magazines and bakers' ovens 
were empty, and innumerable thefts, crimes, and robberies followed. 
The regents, by fixing a low price upon corn in every town or city, 
ruined the markets, and by maintaining that the scarcity was not 
real, but produced by monopolists, excited disturbances, and they 
caused the murder of certain usurers by designating them by their 
names. Royal commissaries, with troops of armed followers, were 
sent into the provinces to discover the deposits of wheat, to sell it in 
the markets, and to punish (the edict ran thus) " the usurers, the 
enemies of the j^oor." The Marquis Pallanti, the chief commissary, 
who was intrusted with supreme power, wishing to make a display 
of rigorous justice, caused gallows to be erected in the villages, 
where he sliortly arrived, followed by a numerous and disreputable 
suite of bailifls and hangmen. No deposit was discovered, because 
all the magazines of corn had been already rifled by the people, 
and no one was punished because the monopoly was imaginary. 
These measures only served to prove the inefficiency of the Govern- 
ment, and to increase the despair, and the disorders among the 
people. It is unknown how many died of hunger, or were killed 



112 



HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM- OF NAPLES. 



1764-GG. 



in the tumults, for in both cases the computation was either neg- 
lected, or the government from prudence concealed the numbers. 
At length the news of the famine in Naples reaching foreign mar- 
kets, many ships laden with corn speedily arrived, and thus the 
scarcity ceased. A fresh pragmatic sanction dissolved the contracts 
entered into for the famine, reducing articles, the cost of which 
had been formerly regulated by the will and interests of the com- 
munity, to a low price, and prescribing certain conditions, while 
other decrees remitted the punishments for crimes, such as thefts, 
robberies, and homicides, occasioned by the scarcity. All maxims 
of State policy and of justice were violated. 

The regents failed to learn a lesson even from the events just 
described ; on the contrary, they became more timid, increased the 
provisions in the public storehouses during the subsequent years, 
forbade the export of the native products of the kingdom, and 
made the distress twofold. As the citizens, therefore, left the 
country in vast numbers, it became necessary for the Govern- 
ment, in April 1766, to restrain and limit their emigration by 
laws and penalties. 



17(;7 FERDINAND IV. 113 



CHAPTER 11. 

THE KING ATTAINS HIS MA-JORITY, AND ASSUMES THE GOVERNMENT. 

On the 12th January 1767, King Ferdinand ended his mino- 
rity ; the event passed over in silence, for the day was neitlier 
celebrated by any act of the Government, ceremony in the palace, 
nor rejoicings in the city ; the regents became councillors and 
ministers, and in substance as well as appearance the Government 
was unchanged. As the reader is sufficiently acquainted with the 
internal state of the kingdom, it now becomes important to give 
a brief sketch of relations abroad. The powers of the North, 
who, to maintain the political balance of that time, did not find it 
necessary to extend their covetous and ambitious designs as far 
as Naples, continued faithful to the commercial treaties concluded 
with Charles. The connexion with Spain and France was one of 
friendship rather than alliance, for the convention agreed to be- 
tween these two kingdoms, called the Family Compact, had like- 
wise been accepted (with the secret connivance of the King of 
Spain) by the Bourbons of Sicily and Parma. The House of 
Austria was engaged in negotiating a new tie of relationship with 
the King of Naples. The Seven Years' War had ended in 1763 ; 
Germany was in repose, and Italy at peace. Don Philip, Duke of 
Parma, was dead, and his death was soon followed by that of the 
old Queen Elizabeth Farnese ; both of whom had instigated wars 
for the gratification of their ambition. Pope Clement xiii. was 
engaged in a contest with Naples, but as he was destitute of secular 
arms, his spiritual weapons inspired no fear. 

The first act of the king, upon attaining his majority, was the 
expulsion of the Jesuits. As Ferdinand himself some time 
later recalled the exiled Order, while other sovereigns converted 
their hostility into favours, it is important to know the reason of 

VOL. I. K 



114 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1767. 

this enmity, as well as of the reconciliation which followed. It 
is well known by other histories how, in the year 1540, under the 
pontificate of Paul iii., the Company of Jesus was instituted to 
teach and convert, professing vows of poverty, chastity, and obe- 
dience ; how they were dispersed in various parts of the world, and 
in royal palaces ; how from being poor, they became opulent, how 
from the lowest places they filled the highest, from humble they 
became ambitious, and how many a dispute was raised or put an 
end to through their means. 

In the year 1758, Joseph i. King of Portugal, returning after 
a night's orgies from the city to the palace, received a slight wound 
from a musket-ball ; upon inquiry being made into the authors 
and origin of this accident, it was discovered that several of the 
nobles and of the Jesuits had conspired to kill the king, in order 
to change their master, the court, and the ministers. Some of 
the nobles were tried and executed ; and two Jesuit friars, re- 
nowned for sanctity, perished in prison, at the command, it was 
said, of the Marquis di Pombal, the all-powerful minister of Joseph ; 
another Jesuit, by name Malagrida, accused before the tribunal of 
the Holy Office, and declared to have seduced the people, ended his 
life at the stake in the city of Lisbon ; and the rest of the Orde™^ 
were all in one day embarked, and landed on the shore at Civita 
Vecchia in the States of the Pope. This was the first banishment 
of the Jesuits ; the second came from France, where Louis xv., 
urged on by intrigues in his court, by the persuasions of Pompa- 
dour,^ and the decrees of his parliaments, expelled the Company of 
Jesus in 1 764 ; and three years later, Charles iii.^ exiled them from 
Spain, commanding his son and nephew, the sovereigns of Naples 
and Parma, to imitate his example. 

In the middle of the night of the 8d November 1767, all the 
houses of the Jesuits in the Neapolitan kingdom (monasteries or 
colleges) were surrounded by the officers of the king and by gen- 
darmes ; the doors were forced open or thrown down, every cell 
taken possession of and guarded ; the friars, their servants and 

^ Madame de Pompadour was implacable ^ By the advice of his minister, Count 

in her hatred of the Jesuits, since the Jesuit d'Aranda, and without apprising the Pope 

Father Sacy refused to reconcile her with of his intention. 
Heaven until she reformed her life. 



17(57. FERDINAND IV. 115 

pupils, were collected in a room of each building, and their furniture 
sequestrated, leaving no man anything but his clothes ; this done, 
they were escorted in a body to the nearest port or strand, and 
embarked on board a ship, which immediately weighed anchor : 
not even the aged or infirm were permitted to remain, departing 
so suddenly that all the Jesuits from the city were sailing past 
Terracina before the light of the 4th November had dawned. 

This precipitation and rigour was either in consequence of the 
example of Madrid, or it was intended, by thus taking the people 
by surprise, and under the concealment of night, to hide from them 
a sight so affecting and impious. The edicts issued on the fol- 
lowing day ran as follows : — " We, the king making use of the 
supreme and independent power which we acknowledge immedi- 
ately from God, and whicli by his omnipotence is inseparably 
united to our sovereign right, given us for the government and 
guidance of our subjects, do hereby will and command that the 
said Company of Jesus be for ever dissolved and perpetually exiled 
from our kingdoms of the Sicilies." 

Other ordinances followed to assure the people that the property 
of the Jesuits, although confiscated, would be applied to works of 
charity, and for the general benefit ; that the self-imposed duties 
of these friars, their alms, obligations, and meritorious works would 
be continued, that their places would be supplied in the services 
of the Church, and that after their schools had been reorganized, 
the public instruction given there would be both more liberal and 
erudite. 

The amount of wealth confiscated to the exchequer was un- 
known, because studiously concealed by the Government ; but the 
friars having perhaps heard, and indubitably suspected their im- 
pending misfortune, had already carried off many articles, valuable 
either for the material of which they were composed, or for the 
excellence of their workmanship. The expulsion of the Jesuits was 
variously regarded ; it was lamented by the weak and hypocritical, 
while the wise approved the measure, the masses showed no interest 
in the subject ; and the remaining friars and priests rejoiced, from 
their natural jealousy and envy of the prosperity and power of 
the Order. The minister Tanucci was triumphant, and the king 
indifferent; but the mind of the youthful sovereign was thus 



I 



116 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1768. 

training boldly to oppose the claims of the Church, and to draw 
a distinction in his conscience between that which belonged to 
Christian humility, and what was due to his royal dignity. 

For many consecutive months the promises which had been 
given were faithfully performed ; and after the Government had 
proved its sincerity by its acts, another edict appeared, which I must 
here transcribe to the honour of the king : — " After the just and 
necessary expulsion from our dominions of the Company which 
calls itself of Jesus, we, by our paternal care, and by the sovereign 
power which we derive directly from God (taking upon ourselves to 
explain and alter the intentions of those who, in leaving their pro- 
perty to the said Company, mean to devote it through the works 
which this Society professed to perform, to the spiritual welfare of 
their countrymen), have founded public schools and colleges for the 
gratuitous education of poor youths in piety and in the knowledge of 
letters ; likewise hospitals for the maintenance of the male and 
female orphans belonging to the lower classes, and for iheir instruc- 
tion in various trades ; as well as asylums for poor invalids or able- 
bodied vagrants, who, taken from a life of idleness, in which coi 
dition they were a burden and pernicious to the State, are now rei 
dered useful by learning the arts required in our social conditio^ 
The community is relieved from the annual loans to the exiled Coi 
pany for the maintenance of schools ; the people in the province 
are benefited by the division of vast tracts of land into smi 
farms ; honest but necessitous persons are assisted by a fixed sui 
given daily in alms, and many other works of public utility ha"^ 
been performed, or are to be completed, when the first claii 
(those of Divine worship and the exercises of religion) have beei 
provided for. By this use made of the property of the exiled Coi 
pany, the demands of public charity have been abundantly satisfied^ 
and with regard to the sanctuary, seeing the time is now arrived 
apply the warning which Moses, inspired by God, delivered to tli 
Hebrew people, to bring no more gifts to the altar, we, consultinj 
the interests of our subjects, and their secure enjoyment of theii 
property, do, by this edict, resolve and declare all the entails or b( 
quests falling to the exiled Jesuits, but not yet in their possessioi 
to be cancelled ; it being our royal will that the property compn 
bended in the entails or bequests, shall remain at the free dispose 



1758. FERDINAND IV. 117 

of tlic last lay proprietor, after whom it may be claimed by the 
Jesuits. " Ferdinand Rex." 

' Naples, 28th July 1769." 

In the midst of these transactions, letters from the Pope, in 
the form of briefs, were circulating throughout Europe, attacking 
the Duke of Parma ^ for having, after the example of other sove- 
reigns, expelled the Company of Jesus. Clement xiii., by threat- 
ening the sovereign of a petty state, and a minor, whose anger he 
did not fear, with anathemas and censures, tried the efficacy of his 
spiritual weapons, befote striking a blow at more powerful sove- 
reigns. The brief began by declaring that the state of Parma was 
a fief of the Church, and that acts hostile to the Company of 
Jesus were adverse to the rights and authority of the papacy, and 
were made in contempt of the warnings, indulgence, and clemency 
of the most high pontiff ; it concluded in these words : — " As it 
is notorious and indisputable (by the Bull of Coena Domini), that 
the authors or participators in the publication of the above-men- 
tioned deeds, have incurred the ecclesiastical censures, so these 
same cannot receive absolution from any excepting ourselves and 
our successors." 

The duchy of Parma was governed during the prince's minority 
by the minister Guillaume de Tillot, a Frenchman ; without 
making any change in the administration, he appealed to the 
kings of Spain, France, Naples, and Portugal, against the Pope, 
who had offended all Catholic sovereigns in the person of the sove- 
reign of Parma. The King of Portugal, practised in controversy, 
expressed his disapprobation of the brief; the King of Spain refuted 
it, by reproducing the disputes and protests against the Bill of 
Ccena Domini ; Louis, King of France, ordered his troops to occupy 
the states of Avignon and the Venaissin, possessed by the Pope ; 

* Ferdinand, Duke of Parma, son of Don Emperor Francis i. By a secret article of 
Philip, and grandson of Philip v. King of the Treaty of Luneville, 1801, it was stipu- 
Spain, and Queen Elizabeth Farnese, was lated that he should succeed to the grand 
seventeen years of age. Born 1751, he duchy of Tuscany ; but the grand duke re- 
succeeded his father in the duchies of Par- fusing to consent, the arrangement was not 
ma and Placentia in 1765, and expelled the made public, and the Duke of Parma died 
Jesnits in 1768. He married Marie Amalie, in 1802. 
Archduchess of Austria, daughter of the 



118 HISTOEY OF THE KINGDOM OP NAPLES. 1768. 

and in Naples, the royal chamber of Santa Chiara, and the dele- 
gate of the royal jurisdiction, determined to support the claims 
of the sovereignty, and while pointing out the fallacy of the pre- 
tensions of Rome, petitioned the king to provide for the mainten- 
ance of his own rights and those of the State ; the king, in his turn, 
after expressing his disapprobation of the brief, and forbidding its 
publication within his realms, commanded Benevento^ and Ponte- 
corvo to return to their ancient allegiance to the kings of the 
Sicilies. While taking possession of these states, and acting as 
their legitimate and hereditary sovereign, he confirmed the citi- 
zens in their present franchises, renewed those formerly granted 
them by past kings from the days of Roger, and promised them 
more as a reward for fidelity. The people of these provinces took 
the oath to the new government, ready to abandon the old, partly 
from their usual fickleness, and partly because generous minds 
revolt from submission to priestly rule, even when it brings with 
it ease and quiet. Upon this, the Pope conjured the Empress 
Maria Theresa to use her authority to bring peace to religion, to 
the Church, and to monarchs ; but she, feigning modesty and in- 
ability, declined the ofiSce, interdicted the Bull of Ccena Domini 
in her own dominions in Italy, and commanded that the copies 
already introduced should be burnt. Such were the repulses which 
the papacy brought upon itself in the year 1768, by its insatiable 
thirst for power. 

King Ferdinand having attained the age of manhood, entered 
into a treaty of marriage with Maria Josephine, archduchess of 
Austria, daughter of the Emperor Francis i. The marriage having 
been settled, and the gifts interchanged, the day of departure for 
the young bride was fixed, and the festivals, which were to greet 
her on her journey, prepared, when she fell ill and died ; and the 
gala dresses and rejoicings throughout the empire, and in the 
imperial house, were changed into mourning. Another princess, 
Maria Caroline, sister of the deceased, was chosen for the wife of 
Ferdinand ; and in April 1768, she left Vienna for Naples. Re- 

^ Benevento. Bestowed by tlie Norman popes until 1077, when Landulplius the 

conquerors on the popes for the investiture last prince died, and Benevento remained 

of Puglia and Calabria. The princes of under the direct dominion of the popes. 
Benevento remained feudatories of the 



1769. FERDINAND IV. 119 

ceived with honours by all the princes of Italy, and more especially 
in Florence, where reigned her brother Pietro Leopold^, she arrived 
at Portella on the 12th of May, and was there met by her bride- 
groom. The palace of Caserta first received them, and from thence 
they proceeded privately to Naples on the 19th of the same month, 
and on the 22d made their public entry in regal state. The fetes 
and rejoicings in the city and the palace lasted several months ; 
the king delighting in such amusements, the queen encouraging 
them from vanity, the courtiers from adulation, and the populace 
from their love of pageantry, and the profit it brought to them. 

A princess of the House of Austria, queen of the largest 
dominions in Italy, and wife of an indolent monarch, Caroline 
changed the whole policy of the government, which had hitherto 
been subservient to the will of Charles, King of Spain. The 
young queen was the better able to succeed, as she was ad- 
mitted into the councils of state, which, though neither in accord- 
ance with the laws nor usages of the monarchy, had been stipulated 
for in the marriage articles. The minister Tanucci, who derived 

• bis power from the Court of Madrid, was disliked by the queen, 
who was equally distasteful to him, and he lamented when too late 
that he had advised or encouraged the ignorance of the king. Al- 

i though Caroline had not yet completed her sixteenth year, her 
understanding was mature ; and, beautiful and clever, she appeared 
a harbinger of prosperity to the kingdom, and attracted the eyes, 
while rousing the hopes of the people. Her brother, Pietro Leopoldo, 
grand duke of Tuscany, had followed her to Naples for her mar- 
riage ; and the year after arrived her other brother, the Emperor 
Uoseph, both of whom, while conversing with the most learned 
men in the kingdom, expatiated on their projects for the reforma- 
tion of their states, according to the dictates of the age and of a 
•wise policy. Thus the whole progeny of Maria Theresa appeared 
to us a family of philosophers in high places, sent by God to re- 
generate the human race. 

Upon the death of Clement xiii. in that year, 1769, Brother 
Lorenzo Ganganelli ascended the papal throne, under the name of 
Olement xiv. Having learned a lesson from the vexations ^en- 
lured by his predecessor, better understanding the spirit of |the 
:ixnes, and being desirous of peace, he proposed terms of accom- 



i 

120 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1769-74. 

modation to the offended monarclis. Appeased by his urbanity 
and proffered pledges of friendship, they accepted the nuncios, 
sent ambassadors to his court, and restored to him the dominions 
which had been occupied by their troops. While maintaining the 
promises he had given, the pontiff reflected that the discord which 
was hardly extinguished proceeded from, or was aggravated by, the 
affair of the Company of Jesus, and, yielding to the continued en- 
treaties of the princes, he published a brief, in which he confirmed 
their banishment. The brief was couched in the ambiguous lan- 
guage of Rome, and so as almost to appear as if, to avoid a worse 
evil, the pope had consented to yield before the superior power of 
the princes ;^ but they, who were both proud and jealous of their 
prerogatives, yet in awe of the priest for conscience' sake, in their 
turn dissembled, and appeared not to perceive his duplicity. 
Clement was enjoying the fruits of this peace, when he was 
seized by an illness of which he died, after great suffering. The 
circumstances of his disease and of his death, or certain anti- 
dotes he had taken, confirmed the rumour that he had died of 
poison, administered by the friars of the Order in revenge for the 
brief which deprived tliese robbers of their privileges, and the ex- 
pectation of recovering their former wealth. If the rumour was 
false, the suspicion w^as not improbable. ^1 

Pius VI., Cardinal Braschi, became Pope. As the King ^ 
Naples, through his ministers, had opposed his election, the two 
sovereigns, both from political and personal motives, were doubly 
hostile to one another. The archiepiscopal see of Naples falling 
vacant, the king, although the right w^as claimed by the pontiff, 
appointed a successor, and commanded the new archbishop, in his 
pastoral letters, to omit the solemn words, " By the grace of the 
apostolic see/' in order to prevent the bare supposition of the pope 
having had any share in his appointment. For three past centu- 
ries at least, the archbishops of Naples had obtained the cardinal's 
purple, but Pius vi. refused it to the new archbishop. Upon this, 
the king wrote to inform him that his refusal w^as only a fresh in- 
ducement for him to accomplish a design he had long meditated, 

1 Ce bref est redige de maniere a ne non pour les torts, mais a cause des accu- 
point fletrir la compagnie. II est remar- sations portees coutre elle. — Tocqueville, 
quable la que suppression est prononcee, Hegne de Louis XV., vol. ii. p. 352. 



1776-83. FEEDINAND IV. 121 

to found a now ecclesiastical order in his kingdom, eminent in rank 
and wealth, and likewise decorated with the purple ; one which, 
in reality as well as in appearance, should vie in magnificence with 
the college of cardinals. This threat was intended as an insult 
to the hierarchy ; but, nevertheless, though the archbishop did not 
receive the hat, neither did the king found the order. Soon after- 
wards, Ferdinand nominated Francesco Serrao to the bishopric of 
Potenza ; he was the learned author of many works in favour of 
lay jurisdictions, and so noted a Janscnist, that the Pope refused 
to consecrate him ; and neither advice, menaces, nor entreaties 
could move him from this determination, until the king at last 
informed him he would cause the new bishops to be consecrated 
in each province by three of the existing bishops, according to the 
rules prescribed by the holy and early discipline of the Church. 

In the year 1776, a trifling accident gave rise to an aflair 
of importance. It was customary for the kings of Naples (as has 
been already mentioned in the course of this history) to present 
the Pope annually with the chinea (a white horse richly capari- 
soned) and seven thousand ducats in gold. This imposing cere- 
mony took place on the 29th June, the day of St. Peter, when the 
ambassador presented the offerings in the name of the king to 
the pontiff, who received them in the portico of the Basilica of the 
Vatican, pronouncing these w^ords : " This is the offering due to 
the pope for the donation of the absolute dominion of the king- 
dom of the Two Sicilies.'' That year, while Prince Colonna, grand 
constable of the kingdom and ambassador from the king, was 
riding to the Basilica, a dispute for precedence arose between the 
servants of the Spanish ambassador and those of the governor of 
Rome, causing a pressure in the crowd, and a disturbance, which was 
liowever, quickly suppressed. After the ceremony was over, the 
ambassador wrote to the king, informing him of what had occurred, 
and Ferdinand, through a despatch of his minister, replied as 
follows : — 

" The disputes which have arisen on the occasion of the pre- 
sentation of the chinea have afilictcd the devout soul of the 
king, as, considering the place, the time, and the circumstances, 
they might have occasioned serious consequences to disturb 
the harmony existing between the two sovereigns and the two 

VOL. I. L 



122 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1776-83. 

states. As this example has proved how an act of pure devotion, 
such as the offering of the chinea, may be a source of scandal and 
discord, he has deliberated and resolved that the ceremony shall 
cease for the future, and that in place of this act of devotion 
towards the holy apostles, he shall, through his representatives or 
ministers, perform whatever else may be pleasing to them. Ex- 
ample, reason, reflection, prudence, humanity, and conscience, 
concur to move the royal mind to this determination, the form of 
this act being solely dependent upon the sovereign will, upon his 
pious inclinations and religious humility. These sentiments of filial 
reverence towards the supreme head of the Church may be com- 
municated to the Court of Rome. Dated Naples, 29th July 1776." 
The Pope demanded the revocation of this deed, but, unable 
to succeed, protested against it ; and although the humiliating 
tribute ceased from that day, he continued at every succeeding 
feast of St. Peter to complain and protest against the conduct 
of the government of Naples. A few years later, the king 
privately offered him seven thousand ducats of gold without the 
chinea or the ceremoily, as the gift of a prince devoted to the 
Church ; but the Pope refused its acceptance, declaring his rights 
more solemnly than ever, and the disobedience (as he called it) of 
the Court of Naples. 

The news spread everywhere of the good laws passed by 
Joseph and Leopold for the benefit of their people ; they were 
approved of by the savans, were highly commended by the 
Queen of Naples, the sister of these princes, even excited a 
certain desire for glory in the indolent temper of the king, and 
thus smoothed the progress of the minister Tanucci, and of other 
noble men of that time, in the difficult path which leads towards 
political freedom. Palmieri^ and Caracciolo,^ De Gennaro^ and 
Galliani,^ besides other men of great learning, holding the posi- 

^ Palmieri, professor of theology at Pavia ; and Clement xiii. ; obtained a pension from 

born at Genoa 1753; he advocated the the Empress Maria Theresa, died 1803. 

system of political reform introduced by ^ De Gennaro, a celebrated jurisconsult ; 

Joseph II.; died 1820, appointed a magistrate by Charles, who 

^ Caracciolo, a learned philosopher, born confided to him the task of reducing the 

at Paris of a Neapolitan family, 1721; legislative codes into one ; born 1701, died 

joined the order of St. Philip Neri ; was 1761. 

received with honours by Benedict xiv. * Galliani, a writer ou political econopjy. 



irro-SiJ. FERDINAND IV. 12;^ 

tions of ministers or magistrates, liad, by their authority and 
example, diffused the knowledge of political science ; whilst the 
minds of rulers and subjects were alike preparing to receive sound 
reforms through the writings of Filangieri/ Pagano,^ Galanti,^ and 
Conforti/ and by lectures which had been recently delivered by 
Antonio Genovese, a prodig}^ of genius and virtue, and a man of 
vast erudition, though in poor circumstances. Academies, meet- 
ings, and even conversation, exercised their influence in the same 
direction ; for the good of the State was the theme of every one's 
study, and the applause of society surrounded whoever could speak 
best on this subject. 

The banishment of the Jesuits had roused a spirit of rivalry, and 
aflbrded the means for the organization of a system of national 
education, as the Government felt itself pledged, to surpass the 
good works supposed to have been accomplished by the exiled 
company. Every community paid salaries to masters in read- 
ing, writing, and arithmetic ; a college of nobles was instituted in 
every province, where twelve lectures were delivered, two on 
theology, and the rest on science or literature ; the same was 
introduced in the principal cities of the kingdom, and, though 
fewer, in the smaller cities likewise. The instruction was public, 
and the professors were chosen by public examination. The 
bishops, who had the sole direction of the seminaries, under the 
authority of the king, liad neither voice nor power of interference 
in the secular schools ; and when, trusting to the piety of the 
prince or to ancient customs, they had the audacity to meddle, they 
met with severe repulse and censure. Upon a bishop once de- 
nouncing certain masters for not observing the rules of the Catholic 
faith, he was answered, that the sole condition required from 
teachers in the public schools was, that they should be Christians ; 
and upon the request of another bishop, that some professorships 

^ Filongieri, an author who conti*ibuted ^ Galanti, a writer on jurisprudence ; 

largely to the progress of political science born 1743, died 1806. 

and jurisprudence ; born at Naples 1752 ; * Cow/or^i, professor of history in the uni- 

died at the age of thirty-six, 1788. versity of Naples ; he was in sacred orders, 

but was employed by Tanucci to write in 

* PaganOf a celebrated jurisconsult, and defence of the rights of the Crown against 

friend of Filangieri ; born 1748, died on thepretensionsof Rome; born 1743, he died 

the scaffold, 1800. on the scaffold, 1799. 



1 24 HISTORY OF THE KIXGDOM OF NAPLES. 177C-83. 

in his diocese sliould be suppressed, which, in violation of the 
papal bull, had been filled up without his permission, the king 
declared the permission of the bishop to be unnecessary, that it 
was an offence to ask it, and the bull which was quoted in support 
of this bold demand was for ever annulled. 

The University [degli studii) founded by Frederic ii., altered 
(often for the worse) by the kings his successors, and which had 
almost ceased to exist during the long period of the viceroys, had 
been revived by Charles, and was now brought to perfection by Ferdi- 
nand, who collected there all the intellect of the age. The salaries 
of the professors were raised as well as their hopes for the future 
of the university ; useless professorships were abolished, while 
seven new were added, which I shall here specify, to prove how 
the ideas of the time already leaned toward useful institutions. 
They were Italian, elocution, the art of criticism as applied to the 
history of the kingdom, agriculture, architecture, geodsesia, natural 
history, and mechanics. An extensive building called the Salva- 
tore, formerly the monastery of the Jesuits, supplied rooms for the 
university ; it contained besides the academies of painting, sculp- 
ture, and architecture, the Farnese and Palatine libraries, the 
Herculaneum and Farnese museums, a museum of natural history, 
a botanic garden, a chemical laboratory, an astronomical observa- 
tory, and a theatre of anatomy ; all of which were either wholly 
new, or improvements upon tlie old. The Farnese library and 
museum formed part of the wealth which King Charles brought 
with him to Naples, and to obtain which he had robbed the palace 
of Parma. 

The statutes of the academy of science and literature were 
altered and refoiTned ; for the trivial details and formalities of 
past times were abandoned, and only looking to the question of 
public utility, it was laid down as a rule, that the sciences should 
be applied to the service of the arts, trade, and medicine, and to 
the discovery of new truths ; while the study of letters was to be 
employed to clear up obscurities in the history of the country, to 
advance general knowledge, and teach the art of self-government. 
But it is a fact worthy of note, that by law the major-domo at 
Court was president of the academy, and that the honorary members 
were chosen by the supreme arhitrament of the king (such are the 



1776 83. FERDINAND IV. 125 

words of tlie statute), and from the highest nohility ; so impossible 
was it to emancipate any social institution whatsoever from the 
royal arbitration, and from the power of the nobles. The Ilercu- 
janeum academy was revived. It was begun by Charles in 1 755, 
'but afterwards fell into neglect ; so that only four academicians, 
who happened to reach old age, remained, out of seventeen. I will 
postpone the account of the military academies to their proper 
place, and only mention here, that they were founded at this time. 

In these various schools or academies the most learned men of 
the kingdom were collc/Cted as masters or fellows; other institutions 
of a like nature sprang up, and all of them as they became known 
were held in high consideration throughout Italy, and were an 
honour to their country and the age. As the limits of my work will 
not allow me to record all the illustrious names they produced, I 
shall only mention those who played a prominent part in history. 
Among the nobles were Raimondo di Sangro, Prince of Sanseverino, 
Francesco Spinelli, Prince of Scalea, and Paolo Doria, Prince of An- 
gri ; among the magistrates, the Marquis Vargos Macciucca, Giuseppe 
Aurelio de Gennaro, Pasquale Cirillo, and Biagio Troise ; among 
the ecclesiastics, besides Galliani and Genovese, the Padre della 
Torre, one of the three brothers Martini, the Padre Carcani, and 
the Archbishop Rossi ; and lastly, among the ladies, Faustina 
Pignatelli, Giuseppa Barbapiccola, Eleonora Pimentel, and, above 
all, Mariangiola Ardinghelli. Those classes in which the studies 
had been formerly least assiduous, were at that time the most 
zealously attended. 

Many valuable works were published, two of the most celebrated 
being, / Saggi Politici, by Mario Pagano, and La Scienza della 
Legislazioney by Gaetano Filangieri. The constitution of society 
was there explained, the rights of subjects and the prince defined, 
and it was hoped that the end of despotic rule and blind obedience 
was near at hand. The rhetorical style of these works, although 
unsuitable to the gravity of the subject, was attractive to the mul- 
titude, and therefore beneficial, because the arguments were ad- 
dressed to the suffering and the hopeful. The authors were com- 
mended by all, and received rewards from the government ; Pagano 
obtained a professorship in the university degli studii, and Filan- 
gieri was raised to a high magisterial place in the finances, and 






126 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1776-83. 

received a pension, which relieved the honourable poverty of his 
family. 

I have thus given a hasty sketch of the projects for the regene- 
ration of the state, conceived by men of genius in Naples. But^ 
one fact must be noticed, which is as much to be lamented as true, 
that while the first germs of political virtue in our age, and in that 
of our fathers, sprang up in the soil of Naples, merit has always been 
treated there as a crime, and fame as infamy ; and this injustice has 
been more frequently the act of their own countrymen than of foreign 
enemies. In no distant days from those of which I write, we shall 
find what was the miserable end of these very men, ordered by the 
government and approved by the people : for the noble ideas and 
wise laws here described did not emanate from the king, nor were 
they understood by the multitude (neither of them being capable of 
comprehending so high a degree of civilisation) ; but were conceived 
by a small band of philosopliers, and only appreciated by the few ; 
the vulgar, as usual, disliking anything which savoured of in- 
novations, which the government, a few years later, punislied as 
crimes. 

Less wisdom was displayed in the management of other parts 
of the State economy : Naples, which had preceded Tuscany 
in throwing off the yoke of the Church, saw herself surpassed by 
Pietro Leopoldo in administrative statutes. Although the munBI 
cipalities were left free to settle their own affairs, and after a™' 
examination into their accounts, the unfaithful discharge of their 
duty was punished, and though the administrator, syndic, and 
auditors, were elected by the people in Parliament, nevertheless, 
these privileges were of little advantage, owing to disorders 
arising from the franchise itself, and even from the variety of 
minds and interests of the individuals who acted as administrators, 
and of the municipal officers, some of whom made their living out 
of the duties, some out of the customs, and others by the capita- 
tion tax. In one place, the money was devoted to the erection of 
public works, in another to charitable institutions ; here the out- 
lay was too niggardly, there it exceeded what was required ; that 
which was approved one year was disapproved the next, and 
the projects of one set of men were overturned by another ; una- 
nimity and perseverance were wanting in the administration, and, 



1770-83. FERDINAND IV. 127 

therefore, nothing great or stable was eiFected. The king once 
lent the commune of Pescotanza the money by which to purchase 
their freedom from the avaricious baron Pietro Enrico Piccolbmini, 
the ofrant for the loan beinff thus w^orded : " To enable them to 
withdraw from the servitude of the baronial yoke :" but this 
solitary act, proceeding from a momentary impulse, was the sign, 
not the substance of prosperity. 

The arts of life continued under the control of the guilds and 
consuls ; internal traffic was hampered by the contributions for the 
annone^ (public storehouses), and for the assise^ by the baronial 
privileges, by the franchises and immunities which remained to 
the clergy, and above all, by the continual interference of the 
government in private enterprise or interests. The cultivation of 
tobacco was again freed from duty, but at the cost of burdens 
being laid upon other articles, such as wine, salt, pepper, paper, 
and books. Tlie manufacture of silk, which had increased during 
the reign of Charles, excited the cupidity of his successor, and by 
being included among the arrendavienti^ for the exchequer, suf- 
fered from the conditions inseparable from a state of thraldom ; 
first followed a diminished product, then the extirpation of the 
mulberry trees, and, lastly, the decline of the national manufactures 
of silk and silken stuffs. Any mariner who carried on a contra- 
band trade in silk was punished by death, and the slightest viola- 
tion of the law by flogging. 

The rich coral trade likewise suflfered. Torre del Greco, a beau- 
tiful city upon the sea-shore, at the foot of Vesuvius, contains a 
population of twelve thousand inhabitants, most of them mariners 
or merchants ; because the land being covered with lava, or threat- 
ened by the neighbouring volcano, only affords a scanty and inse- 
cure support to the husbandman. Until the sixteenth century these 
mariners were in the habit of coral fishing in the seas of Corsica 
and Sardinia, but in 1 780, venturing out still farther, they cruised 
along the coasts of Africa, well armed, and prepared for war ; and 
took possession of a little uninhabited rock whicli lay about 

' Annone. Every district was obliged * Assise. A tax imposed by the syndic 

iu supply tbe public storehouses for the to meet communal expenses, 

coming year, before being permitted to sell ' Arrendamenti. See page 24. 

or export corn. 



128 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OP NAPLES. 1776-83. 

twenty-four miles distant from the island of Galita, and forty-three 
from the coast of Barbary. They called it Summo, after the sea- 
man who first set foot there ; and finding the shore rich with corals, 
built huts for shelter, and threw up defences upon the wood-covered 
rock. They proceeded no farther during the two succeeding years, 
when, gaining courage, they attempted expeditions to more distant 
shores, and, facing the dangers of war and slavery from the tribes of 
Africa, were successful in their fisheries beyond Cape Negro, Cape 
Rosa, and Cape Bona. By this good fortune the trade increased 
so much, that six hundred large barks, carrying more than four 
hundred men, and of a size to resist tempests at sea, departed 
every April, and returned before the winter had set in. The city 
having thus grown in wealth, splendid edifices arose, for the inha- 
bitants were indifferent to the dangers which threatened them 
from the neighbouring mountain, and, if the city happened to be 
destroyed by earthquakes, or to disappear under a stream of lava, 
another more highly ornamented and more beautiful than the 
former was built up in less than a year, and upon the same site, 
from the attachment the people bore to the soil, and from the 
sacred feeling to home. 

The interests which sprung up from this coral fishery were 
many, so vast, and so new, that the code did not contain laws 
sufiScient to regulate the way in which it was to be conducted, and 
secure the ends of justice. On occasions small meetings were held, 
to consider some case of private interest, and were immediately 
dissolved, as the idea of acting for the common benefit had not 
entered the minds of the people, and one coral fisherman would 
often grow rich at the expense of his neighbour. Such mal- 
practices where affairs of great moment were concerned, induced 
the formation of a larger society, which was, however, still only 
composed of volunteers, and, being without authority to control the 
public, could not supply all that was needed. The Government 
then stepped in to their assistance, and by means of laws, ordi- 
nances, and conferring the name of Company on the society, suc- 
ceeded in regulating the departure and return of the vessels, the 
fisheries, the sale of the coral, the magistrates, officers, tribunals, 
and judicial sentences. So many were the laws tlius dictated, that 
the book containino- them was called " The Coral Code.'' The 



J 



17/6-83. FERDINAND IV. 129 

company had its own banner, a tower betvveen two branches of 
coral upon an azure shield, surmounted by three golden lilies. As 
long as the society had been independent, although constantly 
engaged in disputes, and committing acts of injustice, the trade 
prospered ; but when formed into a company with a code of laws, 
and when strife and injustice were at an end, their wealth declined ; 
for the society had been urged on by an indefatigable zeal in the 
pursuit of private gain, while the company acted with slow deli- 
beration for the common benefit. The coral fishery continues to 
this day, but has ceased to prosper. 

A good law was plassed, by which waste land brought into 
cultivation was not obliged to pay the prediaP taxes for twenty 
years ; and if planted with olives, for forty. By other laws the 
uninhabited islands of Ustica and Ventotene were colonized, and 
subsequently those of Tremiti and Lampadusa. The colonists of 
the two first, who were taken from poor but respectable families, 
were granted land and provisions for a certain time, besides instru- 
ments for agriculture and fishing. These colonies prospered, while 
the inhabitants of the other islands, which were colonized from the 
thieves and vagabonds of the kingdom, sent there by the hasty man- 
date of magistrates appointed by the king, soon died oK The Go- 
vernment then sent fresh colonists to supply their place, but in too 
great numbers, causing a decline in morals and industry. This same 
solicitude for the public welfare, induced the Government to divide 
the city into twelve rione^ and in each to establish a magistrate or 
guardian, who w^as empowered to imprison accused persons, for a 
short time, and more frequently to send them to confinement in the 
penal colonies. As long as these arbitrary sentences w^ere only 
applied in the case of the lowest and most disreputable characters, 
tlie kingdom was relieved from many flagitious persons, and the 
city rejoiced in an improved state of things ; but it was not long 
before respectable citizens were sent to these islands without trial 
or proof against them, and only on suspicion of treason, condemned 
by the license usual to unbridled power, and simply because they 
were displeasing to despotism ; the city and kingdom were again 
plunged in grief and alarm. 

^ Predial^ consisting of farms. The predial tithes were tithes paid on com, grass, 
wood, &c. See Blachstone, vol. ii. p. 24. * liione. A ward or district. 



130 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1776-83. 

A cemetery was walled in upon the spot called Pichiodi, and 
afterwards Santa Maria de Pianto ; it contained as many vaults 
as there were days in the year ; but the bodies of the poor alone 
were consigned to burial there, for the upper classes despising the 
place, interred their dead in the churches of the city. The archi- 
tect Fuga designed the cemetery, which was completed in a single 
year, from money given in charity. 

The most useful institution of the time was that for the royal 
archives, wliich was first conceived by Ferdinand of Arragon as 
early as 1477 ; Charles v. followed up the idea in 1533, and Philip 
III. in 1609 ; but the inconstancy of princes, or untoward circum- 
stances, prevented the execution of their design, until the reign of 
Ferdinand of Bourbon, who completed the work in 1786. By 
ordering that deeds productive of claims of mortgage should be 
preserved in the archives and registered ; tliat property should be 
cleared, mortgages made certain, and the sale of inscribed property 
facilitated, creditors were secure of their rights, and debtors con- 
strained to be responsible for promised payment. The system of 
mortgage which has been deservedly praised in the ''Code Napo- 
leon'' was, at least in great part, laid down thirty years before in 
the royal archives of Ferdinand, though less extensive and ex- 
plicit, and of no pecuniary advantage to the State ; whereas the 
French code is comprehensive, strictly defined, and profitable to^ 
the exchequer. By the archives containing the patrimony of even 
family, frauds are prevented, and litigation diminished ; the: 
measure, therefore, was opposed by the lawyers, w^ho were already 
influential in the reign of Charles, and had become still more 
under his successor. Whether as ministers of the Crown, magis-] 
trates, or heads and officials employed in the archive itself, thes 
men disturbed the effects of this wise law, which was, howev( 
maintained in force by the unceasing cares of the Government 
and they thus deprived society of an essential benefit, by debt 
and claims returning to the old state of confusion. 

Still more serious errors were committed in the conduct of tW 
finances. During the reign of Charles, the treasure of Spain, th^ 
profits arising from the conquest, and afterwards from the peac( 
together with the parsimony of the rulers and the contentment 
the people (released from the painful servitude they had endures 



1776-83. FERDINAND IV. 131 

in the provinces), was helping to remove, or at least conceal, the 
poverty of the exchequer. The Concordat with Rome of 1741, 
produced some contribution to the taxes from the ecclesiastical 
property, and the census of the years immediately following, proved 
the existence of many towns which were now subjected to taxation, 
but which had formerly been exempt, because held as iBefs or belong- 
ing to the Church. The wealth accumulated during the reign of 
Charles, was consumed under his successor. The exchequer drew 
its supplies from three sources, donations, direct taxes, and indirect 
taxes. The system of donations had in former times been abused, 
because the easiest mode of raising money under a temporary 
government, but was rarely employed by Charles, and only twice 
during the reign of Ferdinand. 

The direct taxes, assessed by the community, were paid accord- 
ing to the number of hearths in a district (afuoco or fire signifying 
a family), some communities originally feudal, or at that time be- 
longing to the Church, and others, privileged by grants from former 
kings, enjoyed entire or partial exemption from the common bur- 
dens. The allotment among the rate-paying communities was not 
according to the extent or fertility of the land, the skill or industry 
of the inhabitants, their success in commerce, or (to use a modern 
expression) to their real value, but according to a certain rule of 
population, laid down in 1737, which was rather nominal than real. 
By these errors, cities adjoining one another, might often be found, 
one rich in land and manufactures, and with superabundant wealth, 
the other poor in everything, yet the last paying more taxes than 
the first. 

The method by which the taxes were levied was not less falla- 
cious ; they were divided under three heads ; the capitation tax, 
that on manufactured goods, and the land tax. Ecclesiastics, 
barons, and those reputed noble, as doctors of philosophy, notaries, 
and all who subsisted without exercising a trade, swelled the re- 
spectable class of nobles, and were exempted from the two first ; for 
these taxes relating to the number of heads, and to hand labour, 
were supposed to refer solely to the existence and toil of the poor. 
With regard to property, the feudal lands (sometimes wholly and 
sometimes in part) being free from taxation, — besides those belong- 
ing to the king, or the exchequer, the church lands, the patrimony 



132 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OP NAPLES. 1776-83. 

of the clergy, the property attached to seminaries, the lands of the 
parochial clergy and the hospitals, — a small number of unfortu- 
nate landowners bore the whole burden of the direct taxes, which 
amounted to 2,819,500 ducats annually, which was increased by 
another 290,000 ducats under the pretence of constructing new 
roads. 

The indirect taxes included all which the subtle invention of 
the farmers of the public revenue had been able to devise for the 
benefit of the exchequer in every age and for every people. Skill, 
industry, provisions, recreations, vice and gambling, were all made 
profitable to the exchequer. They were called (as I have before 
stated) from the Spanish term, Arrendamenti ; and were for the 
most part sold, or pawned for new debts, or given in security for 
old ; in which case the purchasers or creditors were charged to 
levy the taxes, and even permitted to punish evasions according 
to the severe rules of the Government. They, therefore, exercised 
strict vigilance, stimulated by all the zeal of private avarice, and 
armed with the authority of public functionaries. The Ai^renda- 
menti thus yielded twice as much to the purchaser as to the ex- 
chequer, while the rate-payer had to pay three times the real 
amount of the taxes. 

The king abolished several arrendamenti, that called del minuto 
(the excise), another levied upon the Capitano della Grascia, the 
chief magistrate of the markets,"^ those upon tobacco, manna, 
brandy, saffron, the tolls levied on foot-passengers, and in certain 
provinces, the duty upon silk ; but in order not to deprive the 
treasury of sources of revenue, nor fail in the obligations entered 
into with the purchasers, new taxes, less oppressive to the people 
and more profitable to the finances, were laid on, and others in- 
creased. The following anecdote is characteristic of the times : 
The Government having become aware of the injury caused to the 
State by the arrendamenti, desired to buy back some of them ; 
and when the assignees (such was the name given to the proprie- 
tors) refused their consent, the king decreed that the case should 
be laid before the law tribunals, and submitted to a fair and open 

^ Chief mogistrate of the markets. Capi- were well supplied. The office is now 
tano dclla Grascia, a magistrate charged abolished, 
to superintend the markets, and see they 



1776-83. FERDINAND IV. 133 

trial. The question under consideration was, whether the exchequer 
might, upon equitable terms, redeem the arrendamenti, which had 
been transferred to other hands, and thus be enabled to change 
or reform the public finances, as the necessities of the State 
required. Among the judges was one Ferdinand Ambrosio, a 
cunning and avaricious man, wlio, when the sentence was about to 
be pronounced, finding that his colleagues meant to support the 
claims of the Government, entreated silence, and drawing forth a 
large crucifix from the folds of his gown, and assuming the tone 
and attitude of a missionary, addressed his audience in these 
words : — " Remember; gentlemen, we must die ; that the soul alone 
is immortal ; that this God (pointing to the crucifix) will punish 
us for having preferred ambition to justice ; therefore I vote for 
the assignees.'' His vote, however, being unjust, was not seconded, 
and it was besides known that a relative of the pious orator was 
among those opposed to the Government ; the arrendamento of 
salt therefore was redeemed. In spite of the disordered state of 
the internal administration, it contributed annually 14,400,000 
ducats to the revenue ; yet the barons, although they possessed 
more than half the land of the kingdom, paid only 268,000 ducats 
out of this large sum. 

Feudalism, which had been only slightly depressed during the 
reign of Charles, daily gained in material advantages under Ferdi- 
nand, assisted by the labours of the lawyers, who, while they were 
eager to diminish the extent and power of the feudal jurisdictions, 
in order to add them to those of the law, were equally anxious to 
increase the wealth of the feudal proprietors, that they might 
sliare in it themselves. They found a powerful support in the 
Government, which was as desirous as they were to put an end 
to the mero e misto jurisdiction, as well as in the king, who, by 
habits, attachments, and the instinct of royalty, favoured the 
barons. Many pragmatic sanctions or charters of this period, 
therefore, are in existence, intended to repress the baronial juris- 
diction, while, beside them, are others maintaining their privileges 
and diminishing their taxes. The heaviest duties imposed upon 
the barons for the Adoa and the Rilevio} as they were termed, 

^ Adoa. A compensation paid bv the service. The payment was annual, and 
feudal lords to the king in lieu of military introduced cliieHy in the fifteenth century 



134 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 177C-83. 

were seven per cent, on their revenues, whereas the most favoured 
citizens had to pay twenty per cent., most of them thirty, some 
forty or fifty, while otliers had to pay even sixty ; the feudal 
tithes, forced labour, and all the abuses called rights, continued ; 
so that feudal districts could be distinguished at first sight by the 
poverty of the houses, the squalid appearance of the inhabitants, 
and the want of those comforts and embellishments usually found 
in cities ; there were none of the signs of civilisation, neither an 
exchange, court of law, nor theatre, while the marks of tyranny 
and bondage were many ; castles, spacious dungeons, monasteries, 
or the dwellings of extinct bishoprics, with a few other large 
and fortified palaces of the nobles, were scattered here and there 
amidst heaps of ruins and cottages. The eminent historian, 
Giuseppe Maria Galanti, hardly ventured to state the almost in- 
credible fact, that in the fief of San Gennaro di Palma, at a distance 
of only fifteen miles (five leagues) from Naples, visited by him in 
1 789, the only persons inhabiting houses were the agents of the 
baron, and that the people, 1 0,000 human beings, were seeking shel- 
ter from the inclemency of the season like beasts, under hurdles or 
straw-ricks, and in caves. Such was the condition of the fiefs, and 
yet in a kingdom numbering 2765 cities, towns, or inhabited 
places, all but fifty were, in 1734, under feudal dominion, and all 
but 200 in 1789. Happily the feudal lords, improved by living in 
a more civilized age, were then ashamed of the worst abuses of 
their power. 

The above-mentioned laws, relating to the economy of the State, 
were all that occurred worthy of note during thirty years. The ad- 
ministration and the finances continued barbarous and servile as in 
the time of Charles, for we did not profit by the examples set us by 
other kingdoms, or even by our neighbour Tuscany, the native land 
of Tanucci, and where Pietro Leopoldo had proclaimed the enfran- 
chisement of property, the division of land, the abolition of predial 
servitude, and (his true glory) commercial freedom. Everything, how- 
ever, relating to trials, magistrates, and judicial matters, was better 

under Ferdinand the Catliolic ; it had be- bound to pay, was entered, and formed part 

come so common in Naples, that a regular of the public revenue. — Rilevio, the fine 

registry, called the Cedolaris, was formed, paid on succeeding to a property by the 

in which the Adoa each feudal lord was death of the former proprietor. 



I 



177.;-S3. FERDINAND IV. ^ VS5 

provided for in Naples. The jurisdiction of the barons, and the 
number of their armed retainers, was limited by new enactments, 
and the power of tlie Crown and the commons increased in propor- 
tion, but with them likewise the authority of the courts of law, 
where the utmost effrontery was displayed in dishonest dealings, 
dangerous to the State. Several ordinances were passed intended 
to curb their vices, by obliging lawyers to undergo a prescribed 
course of study, examination, and discipline ; their rapacity was 
checked by a tariff, and tlieir perfidy by threats of punishment, in 
which they were stigmatized as cavillers and ignorant and un- 
mannered persons. Nevertheless their old habits prevailed, and 
the profession of the law was swelled by men of every condition in 
life, the lawyer's gow^n being worn even by the lowest of the people. 
Marriages were wisely regulated by new laws, which, while 
strengthening the paternal authority, and making promises and 
vows invalid, even though taken before the priest or at the altar, 
put an end to female artifice, elopements, and unequal alliances, to 
to the advantage of morals and domestic peace. A more im- 
portant statute regulated the forms of judicial sentences. As 
the magistrates in our country hold a position among the first or 
the most influential orders of the State, persons occupying that 
office, while delivering sentence, despising the usual forms and 
simple mode of explanation, assumed a style of authority and 
command ; by which assumption of dignity, some of the judges 
concealed their ignorance, others their love of power, whilst all 
approved a practice by which their decisions were nothing more 
nor less than intimations of their supreme will and despotic power. 
But as men degraded by servitude find it more troublesome to think 
than to obey, the people submitted quietly, until, under the better 
government of the two Bourbons, and by the general progress of 
intelligence, their minds were directed to the subject, when they 
could no longer tolerate this state of matters, declaring, that under 
the pretence of brevity, the judges masked injustice, venality, and 
ambition. A new law was passed to soothe the apprehensions of 
the i)eople, by which the magistrates were instructed to state the 
reasons for their decisions, and, if a law were wanting in the code, 
to demand it of the king, and, wherever a doubt existed, to refer 
to him for explanation. 



136 HISTORY OF THE KIXGDOM OF NAPLES. 1776-83. 

The magistrates rebelled against this decree, declaring that their 
dignity was oiFended, as well as their independence as judges. 
Under the first feeling of excitement, they proposed to refuse 
obedience, to oj^pose the measure, and resign their offices ; but re- 
flecting afterwards, that by reclamations and intrigues, tliey miglit 
obtain the repeal of the obnoxious law, they reserved extreme 
measures for an extreme case, and resolved to prove their riglits 
by demonstration. The immense body of lawyers, either from 
ignorance, adulation, or a love of controversy, took the side of the 
judges, and increased the outcry. 

The Supreme Council, or the first court of magistrature, was 
divided into four sessions called Ruote ; and whenever, from the 
importance or doubtful nature of a case, all met together, so much 
wisdom was supposed to be collected in the congress, that their 
decisions had the force of law. In the present instance, the coun- 
cil, in a congregation of the four Ruote, drew up, for the informa- 
tion of the prince, a bold statement of the errors and mischievous 
tendencies of the new statute, which they afterwards published. 
The wisdom of the decree was, however, supported by men of the 
greatest learning. It was now that Gaetano Filangieri, who had 
not yet completed his twenty-second year, appeared for the first 
time before the public, in a work entitled, Riflessioni politiche sti 
la legge del 23 di Settemhre del 1774 (Reflections upon the politi- 
cal consequences of the law of the 23d September 1774), in which 
he proved that, as the liberty of the citizen and the power of the 
monarchy resided in an exact execution of the laws, the arbitrary 
decisions of the magistrates were both tyranny towards the people, 
and rebellion towards the sovereign. The work was well received, 
and proved a harbinger of future glory to the young author. The king 
replied to the council by an edict, in which he declared, " Equity 
required of the magistrate that justice should be plain spoken, and 
not, as the supreme council pretended, concealed under an oracular 
veil ; that it belonged to the sovereign to create new laws, or to 
explain the obscure meaning of the old, and to the judges to exe- 
cute them ; that the decisions of learned doctors, and the clauses 
added by commentators, were intended for the study of the judges, 
and were not the laws, which were contained in the Pragmatic 
Sanctions.'' 



I 



1776-83. FERDINAND IV. 137 

The edict proceeded to reject the exceptions proposed, and to 
censure any delay in the fulfilment of the decree, concluding 
nearly in these words: "In consideration of human frailty and' 
the usages of the supreme council, the king pardons the sophisms 
invented and put forth in their publication ; and he hopes that by 
their obedience the magistrates may arrest and disarm the hand 
of justice, inseparable from majesty/' The law tribunals were 
silenced by the menacing style of this edict ; and the terrified 
lawyers declared themselves convinced. None of the magistrates 
resigned their offices, /nor did they resort to any of the extreme 
measures by which, when first discomfited, they proposed to save 
their dignity ; and from that day forth they announced the reasons 
for their judicial sentences, and public justice was more fairly ad- 
ministered. 

By an ancient pragmatic sanction of the Arragonese princes, 
the office of syndic had been introduced into the kingdom, to exa- 
mine into the administration of the public money, and the conduct 
of the magistrates. This office was filled in the metropolis by the 
eletti of the market-place ; in other cities or towns by citizens 
chosen by the people in parliament. The examination of the public 
officers before the syndic lasted forty days in every year ; twenty 
were assigned to receive tlie accusations, and twenty for the dis- 
cussion, during which time the oflicer on trial was deprived of his 
employment and authority. Every man, even from the lowest of 
the populace, was allowed to accuse him of injustice, or of justice 
refused. If no charge could be substantiated against him, he re- 
ceived letters-patent approving his conduct ; if considered guilty, 
a trial was opened for his condemnation. The kings who succeeded 
those of the house of Arragon, allowed these ordinances to fall into 
disuse ; but they were subsequently revived by Charles of Bourbon, 
and added to by Ferdinand, but without any advantage being 
obtained, since the other parts of the government, and the habits 
of the people, were not on a par with this institution ; and the fear 
lest the accused should shortly regain his authority, often closed 
the lips of the injured against a dishonest judge ; while private 
revenge would as often bring a just judge into trouble, only be- 
cause he had been instrumental in punishing those in power. 
The trials for criminal offences continued the same as during 

VOL I. M 



138 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAFLES. 1776-83. 

the reign of Charles : courts of secret inquiry, Scrivani, employed 
for this purpose ; the accused subjected to torture and other 
suiFerings ; the judges using no criterion but their own arbitra- 
ment, and even the power of objecting to them, which had been 
formerly permitted, now revoked by a new law. The trial by 
Truglio^ was continued, and even increased in frequency, and in a 
worse form, because the wishes of the accused persons were not 
consulted, nor their consent made necessary. By a barbarous law, 
the class of thieves called Saccolari (pickpockets) were punished 
by torture, upon proofs which only amounted to suspicion, produced 
hy secret inquiry, although incomplete, and the accused unheard and 
undefended. A still harsher law prescribed the respect to be paid 
to the royal palaces, in which were included all the king's houses, 
the villas, country or hunting seats, with the porticos, courts, and 
offices of these same buildings, even when not inhabited by the 
king ; and capital punishment was decreed to whomsoever should 
brandish a weapon within these precincts. By another law, the 
Society of Freemasons, as they were termed in the edict, were 
punished, and were placed on an equal footing with those guilty 
of high treason, and therefore rendered amenable to the tribunal 
of State, to be tried ad modum belli ; and the punishment, though 
not stated, was, by the nature of the crime as defined, death. 
Shortly afterwards, a new law classed all other secret societies with 
that of the Freemasons, as dangerous to the tranquillity of the 
State, and to the authority of the sovereign. To read the works 
of Voltaire subjected the reader to a penalty of three years in the 
galleys, and the Gazzette of Florence to six months' imprisonment. 
Flogging, which had been less frequently used before trial, became 
a more common mode of punishment. 

A new court of magistrates was instituted, under the name oi 
Udienza Generale di Guerra e Casa Reale (general tribunal of war 
and the royal household), for cases of criminal and civil law, in 
which military men and those privileged to appear only before 
special tribunals, were implicated ; and thus the powers of military 
jurisdiction were extended and became permanent. A general 
was placed at the head, and four magistrates acted as judges. The 

^ Trial hy Truglio. A mode of trial by demned in a body, without any separa: 
which the prisoners were judged and con- examination. 



1776-83. FERDINAND IV. 139 

forms were brief, and the sentences without appeal. The jurisdic- 
tion extending from persons to places, another decree established 
that all crimes or disputes arising between the inhabitants of cer- 
tain houses, or in certain streets of the city, should be laid before 
tlie Udienza Gencrale di Guerra. The territory thus privileged 
in Naples alone, included a full twentieth part of the city, and 
contained not less than thirty thousand inhabitants. The prece- 
dent was followed throughout the kingdom ; and every fortress, 
castle, or military edifice, included a certain district and number 
of inhabitants in the \ficinity not amenable to the civil jurisdiction. 
These encroachments on the civil judicature rapidly increased, and 
it was next decreed that no tribunal could try misdeeds or inter- 
fere in the affairs of officials under the Secretary of State, as the 
king alone could decide the merits of the case. This despotic law 
was projDosed by the Marquis Tanucci, to favour one of his subor- 
dinates in a civil suit. 

Amidst so many political errors, the amount and enormity of 
crime increased. A proclamation of the king against malefactors 
ran thus : — " Robberies upon the highway and in the country are 
so frequent, as well as assassinations, rapine, and other heinous 
offences, that security of traffic is at an end, and the harvests are 
interrupted.'' Magistrates and soldiers were commanded to arrest 
or put to death the disturbers of the public peace ; and merchants 
and travellers were advised to perform their journeys armed and 
in caravans. Brigadier Selaylos was sent with gendarmes into 
the provinces, w^ith absolute power for the extermination of male- 
factors ; while these last were meantime invited to submit, and 
promised oblivion of the past and pardon, — a clemency which did 
not proceed from humanity on the part of the Government, nor 
was accepted because those guilty of crime repented their mis- 
deeds, but was a hollow and temporary pacification, to which neces- 
sity obliged both the Government and the offenders to submit. 
The remission of crime and punishment on the occasions of any 
happy event in the palace, such as a marriage or birth, helped to 
demoralize the people ; they were so frequent, that nineteen may be 
reckoned in the thirty years recounted in this book; so that the Nea- 
politans may be said to have moved in a perpetual round of crimes, 
barbarous punishments, and impunity, followed by worse crimes. 



140 



HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 



1776-83. 



The enactments for the regulation of commerce were ad- 
mirable ; and after Ferdinand had added new statutes to the 
statutes of his father, he ordered that they should be registered in 
a book, entitled. The Commercial Code. This work, completed by 
the labours of Michele lorio, and published in four volumes, but 
not authorized by the king, and forgotten during the agitations at 
home and abroad which immediately followed, remains a document 
of good intentions, or is used as a guide in commercial transactions. 
The admiralty court was instituted to decide specially in commer- 
cial cases, and in all relating to mercantile and naval affairs, under 
the control of the supreme tribunal of commerce appointed by 
Charles. The punishments instituted against fraudulent bank- 
ruptcies were revived, and were so severe, that I read with horror 
in the pragmatic sanctions of the day, one which ordered the muti- 
lation of the offender. 

A duke of a high family, and among the leaders in the court 
circle, happening to owe for a bill of exchange, endeavoured, under 
the shadow of his name, to shelter himself from payment, and the 
punishments consequent on failure ; but, accused before the king, 
he was obliged to submit to the common rule, Ferdinand declaring, 
that neither exalted rank, nor purity of blood, nor the dignified 
position of a magistrate, should save the debtor who liad incurred 
an obligation upon letters of exchange. By another law, the ex- 
change was founded, and it was determined that the bills with 
foreign nations should be made directly from Naples, and not, as 
lieretofore, through the intermediate cities of Rome, Leghorn, 
Genoa, and Venice. After these rules had been laid down for the 
regulation of commerce, the king proceeded to confirm former 
treaties of navigation, and to enact new^ : first, with the govern- 
ment of Tripoli, in August 1785, on equal terms for the merchants, 
but more honourable for the king than the barbarians, who acknow- 
ledged his superior dignity and power, — it was reserved to a more 
unhappy period for the Neapolitan monarchy to fall so low as to 
bow before the people of Tripoli ; secondly, with Sardinia, in June 
1 786 ; thirdly, with the Republic of Genoa, in the same year and 
month ; fourthly, with Russia, in May 1787, with whom he not 
only stipulated for commercial advantages, but in case of war, for 
reciprocal neutrality, according to the laws of nations. 



177G-83. FERDINAND IV. 141 

In every part of tlic administration, good statutes might be 
found side by side with bad ; but the first were more numerous 
than the last : the army alone, by the natural decay of every- 
thing which is neglected, degenerated from year to year. The pos- 
sibility of war was forgotten, as the last ended in 1 744, and men 
had since enjoyed peace, until it had become a second nature. 
Under the bright and voluptuous skies of Naples, and with a fruit- 
ful soil, the inhabitants were like the climate ; the king was 
addicted to pleasures, while his ministers were only eager in 
their endeavours to promote civil institutions and ease ; the body 
of lawyers were hostile to everything warlike ; and the queen her- 
self, though covetous of fame and power, was negligent of the 
array, because at that time useless for the purposes of ambition ; 
the regiments formed by Charles were already enfeebled by age, 
the walls of the fortresses lay in ruins, and the arsenals were 
empty ; military science, arts, order, and habits, therefore, were 
alike forgotten. 

The king, when a child, had formed a battalion which he had 
named the Liparotti ; and whom, as a boyish amusement, he had 
trained in the use of arms. He afterwards founded the military 
college for cadets, but under regulations compiled by officers who 
were neither learned in their profession nor experienced in war. 
He next raised 14,000 militia by conscription in the kingdom of 
Naples alone, from the most abject classes of society ; to prove 
which, it is sufficient to mention, that barons, nobles, doctors, men 
holding any property, and those exercising professions or trades 
were exempted from serving, whilst the most degraded of the 
citizens were accepted, and with reason, as the military formed 
the lowest order in the state. Criminals, and those guilty of the 
most infamous deeds, were often condemned to military service; and 
still more frequently, galley-slaves and men taken from the prisons 
were converted into soldiers. Such was the military condition of 
the country in the year 1780, when, owing to events which I shall 
shortly relate, an army was raised. 



142 



HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 



1776-83. 



CHAPTER III. 



CONTINUATIONS^ OF THE REIGN OF FERDINAND. 



The queen having given birth to a prince, claimed, as had 
been stipulated in her marriage-contract, admission and a vote in 
the councils of state. TJie king offered no opposition to her desire, 
but the minister Tanucci, who feared her talents and arrogance, 
as well as that of her family, first secretly placed obstacles in 
her way, and tlien openly attempted to frustrate her designs. She 
conquered, and the minister was dismissed. No king banished 
from his kingdom could more bitterly lament and complain of his 
loss, than Tanucci, at being forced to resign the ministerial office ; 
the neglect of those he thought his friends, the disrespect shown 
liim by his inferiors, his deserted rooms, the change of scene upon 
the fall of his power, all the display of those vices which are in- 
herent in human nature, were by him attributed to the surprising 
corruption of the time ; and to escape the hated sight of man, he 
retired into the country, where he ended his days. Minister to 
the king of Naples from 1734, he was dismissed from office in the 
year 1777, and after ruling the state with princely power for forty- 
three years, he died in 1783, in comparative poverty, and without 
children, leaving an aged wife and a fair reputation. 

The fall of Tanucci confirmed the opinion of the power of the 
queen, both in the minds of the people, and in the councils of 
state. In the bloom of youth, only twenty-five years of age, blessed 
with many children, beautiful, proud by nature, and still more proud 
from the greatness of her family, she found it easy to rule her hus- 
band, who was wholly absorbed in sensual pleasures. She changed 
all the foreign relations, broke off their connexions with Spain, 
and leaned more towards England than France. The Marquis 
della Sambuca, a favourite at the Court of Vienna, when ambassa- 



1776-83. FERDINAND IV. 143 

dor there, was, tlirough her means, appointed minister in place of 
Tauucci. On liis arrival in Naples, he supported her in her laud- 
able schemes for the welfare of the people ; as, following the ex- 
ample of her brothers, she was desirous of gaining the approbation 
of the savans, and, therefore, proposed to introduce reforms into the 
kingdom. Thus, having become the centre on whom rested the 
hopes of the great, the ambitious, and the patriotic, she felt con- 
scious of her power, and was elated by her success. 

This change of policy, which made the kingdom more inde- 
pendent, at the same; time roused the pride of the Government ; 
and, no longer dwelling under the shadow of foreign potentates, 
it became necessary for the king to provide for the safety of his 
dominions. Ruling over a kingdom coveted by many, and abound- 
ing in wealth, yet with a diminished army and navy, he w^as exposed 
to danger in the first war ; the long line of coast was unprotected, 
and commerce, which was now so widely spread, depended on the 
vacillating faith of treaties, and on the hollow promises of the 
people of Barbary. Both ships and soldiers were wanting, but 
as no native Neapolitan could be found thoroughly versed in 
military matters, the king sought a general for the army among 
the Austrians, and looked elsewhere for an admiral, who should 
neither be a Spaniard nor a Frenchman ; all these subjects were 
discussed by men of high consideration and talents in the private 
coteries of the queen ; some of whom were admitted there for the 
support they gave her secret wishes in the royal councils, or for 
proposing them as their own, and others because they circulated, 
or gave the authority of their names, to the acts and edicts of the 
Government. On one occasion, the Prince of Caramanico, the in- 
timate friend and reputed favourite of the queen, proposed that 
Sir John Acton, an Englishman by birth, at that time in the ser- 
vice of Tuscany, should be appointed admiral of the Neapolitan 
fleet : He had been covered with glory in a late enterprise against 
Algiers, and was said to be well versed in nautical matters, as well 
as in military science ; besides being a man of bold and energetic 
character. The Marquis della Sambuca seconded the proposal, 
because eager to increase his fortune rapidly, and aware that his 
favour with both sovereigns was on the decline, he was ready to 
flatter the views of those in power. As the opinion of Caramanico 



144 



HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 



1776-83. 



met with no opposition, and received tlie consent of the queen, 
and soon afterwards of the king, the cavaliere Gatti was sent to 
Florence to obtain the permission of the Grrand Duke Leopold to 
engage the services of the new admiral. Acton was thus brought 
to Naples in 1779, and was well received by the queen and king, 
praised by the great, and appointed head of the marine department. 

From causes above stated, the finances of the State were declin- 
ing ; the former taxes were insufiicient to meet the increased ex- 
penditure of the palace, while to add new, besides appearing too 
heavy an imposition in times of peace, would have been more than 
the people could have borne. As the Marquis Caracciolo, ambas- 
sador to France, was reputed an authority in the science of 
political economy, he was appointed minister in place of Sam- 
buca, and it was thought that he would restore the administra- 
tion of the interior without the irksome retrenchment wdiich had 
been timidly hinted at in the councils of state ; in this confidence, 
the extravagance of the king, the prodigality of the queen, the 
luxury of the palace, and the embarrassments of the exchequer, 
were in no way diminished. But the Marquis Caracciolo, though 
a scholar and philosopher in his day, was now enfeebled in courage 
and intellect by the advance of age ; and, while he perceived the 
errors in the administration, he felt, from the shortness of life 
and his failing strength, his own inability to apply a remedy ; the 
favour enjoyed by Caramanico, and the rising power of Acton, 
excited neither his jealousy nor anger, for he only wished to enjoy 
in repose, past honours and present ease. The weakness of the 
minister, as usual in a despotic government, infected all members 
of the State, and opened an easy way to tlie realization of Acton's 
hopes. 

When the Court of Rome saw Naples governed by a minister too 
feeble to dispute her power, she proposed a new Concordat ; and 
the offer being accepted, sent Monsignor Caleppi to advance 
her bold and extravagant claims. But though twenty-two points 
were conceded, a controversy arose touching the Court of Nuncia- 
ture and the election of bishops. The Pope aimed at a separate 
jurisdiction for the nuncios, besides armed retainers, and dun- 
geons at their disposal ; and proposed that the prelates, though 
named by the king, should be recognised at Rome as worthy and 



1770-^. FERDINAND IV. 145 

acceptable by the decision, or at least by the spiritiial approbation of 
the pontiff— owe of many formulas by wliicli the tyranny of the Popes 
had been exercised for centuries ; and it was therefore rejected. 
The dispute was dragged on to so weary a length, that the congress 
was broken up, and Caleppi, the nuncio and the ambassador, 
dismissed the kingdom. The last glory of the Minister Tanucci 
had been the abolition of the Chinea ; the last of Caracciolo 
was his resistance to the Court of Rome in the instance just 
mentioned. Such were the bold struggles for freedom and such 
the genius of the age. Whilst these disputes were still pending, 
it was remembered tp the honour of the minister, that when 
viceroy of Sicily, he had banished the Holy Office, and had approved 
the conduct of the citizens of Palermo, who, when prevented de- 
stroying the palace of the Inquisition, had broken the marble 
statue of St. Dominick in pieces, and scattered the fragments ; 
burnt the archives, and, throwing open the doors of the dungeons, 
had led forth in triumjDli the unhappy victims confined there. 
In the midst of these transactions the most daring and implac- 
able spirits were the old, the grey-headed, and those bent 
with the weight of years, who, remembering the auto-da-fe 
of 1724, had excited the frenzy of the young by repeating the 
story of the sufferings of Gertrude and Brother Romualdo, re- 
corded in the first book of this history. Thus, praised by the world, 
and full of years, died the Minister Caracciolo. 

Fortune proved propitious to the ambitious schemes of Sir John 
Acton. He was Minister of Marine durino- the lifetime of Carac- 
ciolo, and, gaining the favour of the queen, while accommodating 
his views to the genius of the age and the spirit of the government, 
became popular at Court. He was soon afterwards appointed to the 
Ministry of War, and, at the death of Caracciolo, was intrusted with 
that of foreign affairs. Crafty by nature, and accustomed to deal 
with the passions of men, he feared a rival in Caramanico, who had 
not yet wholly forfeited the royal favour, and that by his vicinity 
to the palace, the associations and memories of the past might be 
maintained ; he, therefore, contrived to have him sent as ambassador, 
first to London and then to Paris, and, finally, appointed viceroy of 
Sicily. Fearing public opinion, however, and anxious to obtain 
the suffrage of the people, Acton courted the men who were most 

VOL. I. N 



U6 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF 15'APLES. 1776-83. 

esteemed in tlie l<ingdom, expressed himself averse to feudal pri- 
vileges, blamed the indolent lives of tlie nobles, and introduced 
normal schools, establishing them in all parts of the country ; he 
furthered the interests of commerce by restoring the ports of Miseno, 
Brindisi, and Baia, by designing many highways and roads through 
the provinces, and by proclaiming religious toleration in Brindisi 
and Messina. The circumstance of his being a foreigner did not 
deprive him of the respect of the Neapolitans, too much accustomed 
to this infliction ; and the absence of persons fitted for the office 
of minister, or ambitious of that honour, saved him from enemies 
of any importance, and removed obstacles from his path. While 
avoiding the responsibility of the public purse, he yet feared that 
some one minister, deriving importance from the present emergency, 
should supersede him in power and favour ; and, therefore, he caused 
the office of Minister of Finance to be abolished, and confided the 
management of these affairs to a council, because by thus dividing 
the merit and the praise due to success among thirteen council- 
lors, no one individual could attain celebrity. The remaining 
offices of government, those of Justice, Divine worship, and the head 
of the administrations, were given to lawyers ; Carlo de Marco, 
Ferdinando Corradini, and Saverio Simonetti, bore the title of 
ministers, but were in fact all subordinate to Sir John Acton, who,^ 
by his office, by court favour, and by the servility of those wh^H 
surrounded him, was considered, and was in reality, the prime and 
sole minister, as powerful as the king, but more respected and 
feared than Ferdinand, who was thoughtlessly degrading his royal 
dignity by plunging into the most sensual pleasures. 

Sir John Acton was created a field-marshal, and from that day 
assumed the title of general, which he kept until his death ; he 
was next made lieutenant-general, afterwards captain-general, and, 
decorated with all the orders of chivalry in the kingdom ; he re- 
ceived several foreign distinctions, and, among others, was made an 
English nobleman for his services rendered to England as minister 
of Naples,^ and acquired unbounded wealth. Endowed by nature 
with a robust constitution, and fine person, there was no gift of 
fortune which he need have coveted, yet he was often melancholy 

' He became a baronet in 1791 by sue- his cousin (in the third degree), Sir Eich- 
ceeding to the family title on the death of ard Acton, of Aldenham Hall, Shropshire. 



1776-S3. FERDINAND IV. 147 

(as I have been told by one of liis family), and was apt to indulge 
in imajjinarv ffrief. 

He undertook to form a na^T" and army. As only a sufficient num- 
ber of vessels were needed to defend the coast, and overawe the 
petty sovereigns of Barbary, too small a navy or too large was, for 
opposite reasons, equally prejudicial to the country ; but to satisfy 
tlie queen and tlie vanity of the minister, a great many ships of 
the line were built, besides frigates and other vessels which, 
while fiir exceeding what was necessary for the protection of 
commerce, carried off seamen better qualified for trading ves- 
sels: besides which tjhe exchequer was drained by this useless 
expense, and new reasons for alliances and hostilities with foreign 
nations arose, into which we were prematurely forced, by our 
recently acquired power at sea. Our land forces being nominally 
thirty thousand, but in reality fourteen thousand soldiers, the 
first idea of the minister was to recompose the regiments, so that 
the army sliould be again complete. For this end a new law was 
passed by wliich the commons were obliged to furnish a consider- 
able body of infantry, and the barons cavalry and horses. This 
contingent included volunteers, debtors, vagabonds, and men taken 
from the prisons and galleys. Baron Salis, from tlie Grisons, was 
invited to train the new levies, and Colonel Pomereul, a French- 
man, well known in his native country for his talents and services, 
to form the corps of artillery. Many foreign officers and Serjeants, 
either invited or brought thither by Salis and Pomereul, joined 
their ranks ; among them was Serjeant Pierre Augereau, destined 
some years later, when general of the French Republic, marshal 
of the empire, and Duke of Castiglione, to fill many a page in his- 
tory ; and lieutenant Jean Baptiste Eblb, afterwards first general 
of artillery in France, who shared in many victories, and died in 
battle in 1812; happy in not living to behold a change of 
standard. 

This levy was looked upon with dislike by the degenerate populace 
of Naples, while the discipline, habits, and orders in a foreign lan- 
guage were equally adverse to the feelings of the soldiers, and still 
more so to their superior officers, who concealed their ambition for 
command, under zeal for the honour of their country ; a foolish pride, 
since they had none of the habits of military life, and were sunk 



148 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1776-83. 

ill the corruptions of an idle city. The discontent at length became 
so loud, that the government, fearing a dangerous mutiny, dis- 
missed Salis and the rest of the foreign officers, with the exception 
of Pomereul, who, being only employed for a small part of the arm.y, 
and acting with officers who were less ignorant than the others, 
had not excited the opposition and enmity of the multitude. The 
consequence was, that while the artillery improved, the rest of the 
army degenerated. About this time commenced the hatred the 
people bore Acton and the queen, while their attachment to the king 
increased, as it was believed (as was really the case) that he was 
averse to these innovations, although they were issued in his name, 
out of compliance to the will of his wife and minister. 

Fame having spread the news of the increased power of the 
kingdom, the Bourbons of France and Spain desired to form a 
closer alliance with the king of the Sicilies ; but the disposition 
and views of the Court having undergone a change, they met with 
cold replies, and, finally, repulses. Upon this, Charles iii., writing 
to his son, as a king, father, and benefactor, advised him to dis- 
miss his ill-chosen favourite. Sir John Acton, from the ministry 
and from his kingdom : his advice was not listened to ; and soon 
afterwards when he oifered to allow two Neapolitan men-of-war, 
and as many merchant vessels as the king pleased to send, to join 
the Spanish flotilla bound for America, this offer (in many respects 
so advantageous) was rejected. Wood for ship-building was refused 
to France, although it had been sold to her from the earliest period 
at a high price, and abounded in the forests of Calabria. All man- 
ner of incivility was displayed towards those sovereigns who were 
allied in blood, while every courtesy was shown towards the 
monarchs of Austria and England. Louis xv. was, therefore, ill- ; 
disposed towards the Court of Naples, and Louis xvi., after all 
hope of a friendly understanding had failed, \vas converted into an 
enemy : even Charles iii. died displeased with his son. 

The order of time has brought me to the year 1783, when : 
a violent earthquake overthrew many cities, and altered the sur- ] 
face of a vast extent of land in Calabria and Sicily, causing the j 
death of men and cattle, and a universal panic throughout both 
kingdoms. On Wednesday, the 5th February, about an hour j^ast 
mid-day, the land of that part of Calabria which lies between the 



1783. FERDINAND IV. 149 

rivers GalHco and M^tramo, from Mounts Jeio, Sagra, Caulono, and 
the sliore, and from betwixt tliesc rivers to tlie Tyrrlienean sea, was 
convulsed. This district is called the Plana, because the country 
at the foot of the last of the Apennines stretches out into a plain, 
twenty-eight Italian miles in length, and eighteen in breadth. The 
earthquake lasted a hundred seconds : it was felt as far as Otranto, 
Palermo, Lipari, and the other ^olian islands ; only slightly in 
Puglia and the Terra di Lavoro, and neither affected the city of 
Naples nor the Abruzzi. A hundred and nine cities and villages 
with a population of 166,000 inhabitants covered the Plana : and 
in less than two minttcs all these buildings fell, causing the 
deaths of 32,000 human beings of every age, men and women, 
more of whom were wealthy and of noble birth than poor or 
plebeian: for no human power could avert this sudden destruction. 
The soil of the Plana, composed of granite rock wherever the 
spurs of the mountains are prolonged, or of various earths brought 
down by the waters which descend from the Apennines, varies 
from place to place, in consistency, power of resistance, weight, 
and form. Whatever, therefore, may have been the origin of the 
earthquake, whether volcanic, as stated by some authorities, or 
electric, according to others, the movement was in every direction ; 
vertical, oscillatory, horizontal, rotatory, and vibrating ; and it was 
observed that the causes of destruction were often different and pro- 
duced opposite results. One half of a city or of a house sunk 
while the other was upraised ; trees were swallowed by the earth to 
their very topmost brandies, beside other trees which had been torn 
up by the roots and capsized ; a mountain burst and fell to the right 
and left of its former site, while the summit disappeared, and was lost 
in the bottom of a newly-formed valley ; some of the hills were seen 
to become valleys, while the sides of others became rugged and steep ; 
the buildings upon them moving with the land, generally falling 
in ruins, but sometimes remaining uninjured, and the inhabitants 
not even disturbed in their sleep. The fissures in the ground in 
many places formed large gulfs, and soon afterwards mounds were 
thrown up ; the waters, either gathered in hollow basins, or 
escaping from their beds, changed their course and condition ; 
rivers met and formed a lake, or expanded into marshes, or 
disappeared altogether, and burst out anew as rivers flowing 



150 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1783. 

between new banks and la3ang the most fertile fields bare and 
sterile. Nothing retained its ancient form. Every trace of towns, 
cities, and roads had vanished, so that the inhabitants wandered 
about in a state of stupefaction as in a remote and desert region : 
so many works of man and nature, the labour of centuries, be- 
sides rivers or rocks, perhaps as ancient as the world, had been 
changed in a single moment. Tlie Piana was thus the centre of 
the first earthquake, but from the change in the whole surface of 
the ground here described, sometimes villages at a distance were 
more injured than those close at hand. 

At midnight of the same day there was a second shock, as 
violent, but not so destructive as the first ; for the people, warned 
of the danger, and already houseless, and without the means of 
shelter, were standing in the open air, stunned and desponding. 
The noble cities of Messina and Reggio, however, and all that part 
of Sicily called the Yaldemone, suifered more from this second 
shock than from the first. Messina in that year, 1783, had not yet 
fully recovered from the damage caused by the earthquake of 1744, 
so that the present earthquake, by shaking buildings and land which 
had already been injured, overthrew everything, and thus new 
ruins were heaped upon the old. The shocks continued, until the 
land itself was subverted, and men and things which had been 
engulfed days before, were often again uncovered. The high 
chain of the Apennines, and the great mountains upon which are 
situated Nicotera and Monteleone, resisted for a considerable time, 
and though cracks might be seen in some of the buildings, they 
were neither thrown down nor moved from their original sites, and 
the earth beneath them had not yet been convulsed. But on the 
28th day of March of that same year, in the second hour of the 
night, there was heard a hollow rumbling noise, loud and pro- 
longed ; and soon afterwards a great movement of the earth was 
felt, in the space lying between the Capes Vaticano, Suvero, Stilo, 
and Colonna, at least 1200 square miles, which was only the centre 
of the shock, for the concussion reached the most distant confines 
of Calabria Citra, and was perceptible throughout the kingdom 
and in Sicily. It lasted ninety seconds, and caused the deaths of 
upwards of two thousand human beings. Seventeen cities were 
entirely destroyed in the same manner as the hundred and nine 



1783. FERDINAND IV. 151 

cities of the Piana ; twenty-one, besides, were partly laid in ruins 
and partly injured ; more than a hundred small villages were sub- 
merged or tottering ; and that which was standing upright one 
day, was the next thrown down ; the sliocks continued with the 
same violence and destructive force for seven months, until August 
of that year, a time which seemed like eternity, because measured 
by seconds. 

Whirhvinds, tempests, volcanic fires and conflagrations, rain, 
wind, and thunder, accompanied the earthquakes ; all the powers 
of nature were shaken : it seemed as if her bonds were 
loosened, and that th6 hour had arrived for the commencement of 
the new era. In the night of the 5th February, whilst the earth 
was still convulsed, a meteor burst and swept away the highest 
part of several buildings ; a bell-tower in Messina had the top 
carried off, an ancient tower in Radicena was cut across above the 
base, and a heap of rubbish (so massive as to contain part of the 
staircase) remains still in the place where it was thrown, and 
is pointed out as a curiosity to the stranger. Many roofs and cor- 
nices, instead of falling upon the ruins of the buildings to which 
they belonged, were carried away by the whirlwinds, and fell in 
distant places. Meantime the sea between Charybdis and Scylla, 
and along the coast, near Reggio and Messina, was raised several 
braccia,^ invaded the shores, and in retreating to its own bed, swept 
away with it men and cattle. Thus perished about two thousand 
persons in Scylla alone, all of whom had fled to the sandy beach, or 
had taken refuge in boats to escape the dangers of the land. The 
prince of Scylla, who was amongst them, disappeared in a moment, 
and neither the efforts of his servants and relatives, nor the pro- 
mise of ample rewards, could lead to the discovery of the body, 
which they wished to honour with a tomb. Etna and Stromboli 
emitted a larger quantity of lava and inflamed matter than usual,^ 
but this calamity did not excite much attention at the time, from 
being far the least disaster. Vesuvius remained quiet. Conflagra- 
tions, worse than any fire from the volcano, were the consequence 

^ More than twenty feet. See Lyell's vapour towards the beginning, and Strom- 

Principles of Geology, p. 418. boli towards the close of the commotions. 

* The great crater of Etna is said to — Lyell's Principles of Geology, p. 488. 
have given out a considerable quantity of 



152 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1783. 

of the earthquake ; for in the fall of the houses, the beams came in 
contact with the burning stoves, and the flames, fanned by the 
wind, spread so vast a fire around, that it appeared to issue 
from the bosom of the earth, which gave rise to false stories 
and the belief in subterranean heat. This was confirmed by 
the loud noise and rumbling sound like thunder which was 
sometimes heard preceding and sometimes accompanying the 
shocks, but more frequently alone and very terrific. The sky 
was cloudy yet serene, rain falling, the weather variable, and there 
was no sign of the approaching earthquake ; the indications ob- 
served one day were missing on the morrow, and others were 
discovered, until it was found that the earth shook under every 
aspect of the heavens. A new calamity appeared ; a thick cloud, 
which dimmed the light of day, and increased the intense dark- 
ness of night, which was pungent to the eyes, oppressive to the 
breath, fetid and motionless, hung upon the atmosphere of Calabria 
for more than twenty days, and was followed by melancholy, 
disease, and shortness of breath, felt by man and beast. 

I must now turn to a still more tragical part of the history ; 
the misery endured by the inhabitants of tliis region. All who 
were within their houses on the Piana, at the first earthquake 
of the 5th February, perished, with the exception of those who 
remained half alive under the casual shelter of beams, or other 
parts of buildings, which happened to fall in an arch over them ; 
they were fortunate, if disinterred while still living, but their fate 
was dreadful when left to die there of starvation. Those who 
chanced to be in the open air were saved, though not even all of 
them ; for some were carried down in the gulfs which opened 
beneath their feet, others swept off by the waves of the sea as 
they returned, and others struck by materials blown along with 
violence by the whirlwind ; but more miserable than any, were 
those who remained spectators of the ruin of their houses, under- 
neath which lay buried a wife, a father, or children. As some 
years later I conversed with eye-witnesses of this catastrophe, and 
with men and women who had been dug out of the ruins, I am able, 
as far as relates to the feelings and character then exhibited, to 
delineate the moral effects of the earthquake of Calabria ; a more 
difficult task than the description of its physical aspects. 



1783. FERDINAND IV. 153 

The first sliock was preceded by no sign on earth, or in the 
heavens, to excite either alarm or suspicion ; but at the move- 
ment and the sight of the destruction of everytliing around 
tliera, all were seized with panic, so that, losing their reason, 
and even the instinct of self-preservation, they remained stunned 
and motionless. As their senses returned, the first sensation of 
those who had escaped was joy at their good fortune ; but the joy 
was fleeting, for it was immediately succeeded by the overwhelm- 
ing thought of the loss of their families, the destruction of their 
homes, and, amidst the various forms of death with which they 
were surrounded, the' fear that their last moment was at hand. 
They were still more agonized by the recollection that their rela- 
tions might be alive beneath the ruins, and by perceiving the 
impossibility of helping them, they could only hope (a fearful 
consolation !) that they were dead. How many fathers and hus- 
bands could be seen wandering amidst the rubbish which covered 
those they loved, unable to raise these piles of masonry, and vainly 
calling to passers-by for assistance, until at last, in despair, they sat 
weeping day and night over the stones. In this mortal abandon- 
ment they turned to religion, and vowed offerings to the Deity 
and a future life of contrition and penance ; Wednesday, in every 
week, was to be held sacred, and the 5th February in every year ; 
on which days they hoped to appease the wrath of God by self- 
inflicted torture and solemn festivals in the church. 

But the most dreadful fate (worse than can either be pictured 
or conceived) was that of those who remained alive beneath the 
rubbish, waiting for aid with eager and doubtful hope; they blamed 
the tardiness of their friends and those they loved best in life, 
accused them of avarice and ingratitude ; and when, overcome by 
hunger and misery, they lost their senses and memory, and fainted, 
the last sentiments they breathed were those of indignation at 
their relatives, and hatred of the human race. Many were disin- 
terred by the affectionate care of kindred, and a few more by the 
earthquake itself, which, while disgorging the first ruins, restored 
them to the light of day. When all the bodies were uncovered, it 
was found that a fourth part of these unhappy beings would have 
been saved alive, if assistance had not been delayed, and that the 
men had died while struggling to disengage themselves from the 




154 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAFLE3. 1783. 

rubbish, whilst the women had covered their ^ices with their hands 
in despair, or were tearing tlieir liair. There were likewise 
mothers, indifferent to their own sufferings, while protecting their 
children by making an arch of their own bodies over them, or hold- 
ing their arms extended towards tlieir beloved ones, although unable 
to reach them through the rubbish, and many proofs were here 
given of the masculine courage and strong affections of women. 
An infant at the breast, which afterwards expired, was disin- 
terred in a dying state on the third day ; a woman with child, who 
had remained thirty hours beneath the stones and been rescued 
by the tenderness of her husband, gave birth to a healthy infant 
some days later, and the child survived a long time ; when the 
mother was asked what was the subject of her thoughts beneath 
the ruins, she replied, " I was waiting." A girl of eleven years of 
age was dug out on the sixth day, and survived ; another of six- 
teen, Eloisa Basili, remained buried eleven days, holding a boy in 
her arms who expired on the fourth, so that his body when 
taken out, was corrupt and putrid; but she had not been able 
to rid herself of the corpse, because they were both inclosed by 
the rubbish, and she counted the days by the dim light which 
penetrated even to this tomb. 

The tenacity of life in the case of certain animals was still more 
remarkable; two mules continued to live under a heap of ruins, one 
twenty-two days, and the other twenty-three ; even a turkey sur- 
vived twenty-two days, and two pigs remained thirty-two days 
alive underground. Both beasts and men, when brought again 
into the light of day, exhibited a dull apathy and indifference to 
food, but an unquenchable thirst, and were nearly blind ; the usual 
effects of a prolonged fast. Of the human beings saved, some 
recovered their health and spirits, while others continued suffering 
and melanchol}^ : this difference was attributed to the differ- 
ence of time when succour reached them ; whether before or after 
they had lost hope. The servant girl Basili, though handsome, 
and well provided for in the house of her master, sought after and 
admired for her adventures, never relaxed into a smile during the 
remainder of her life : in short, all who had been rescued, when 
asked their thoughts while they were beneath the ground, answered 
by relating their histories as I have given them, but each con- 



1783. FERDINAND IV. 155 

eluded by saying ; " Thus far I remember, and tlien I fell asleep." 
None of tlicni lived long ; the unhappy Basili died young, before 
she had completed her twenty-fifth year, and neither wished to 
marry nor to take the veil ; she liked to be alone, and to sit under 
a tree, from whence she could neither see the city nor houses, and 
turned away her eyes at the approach of a child. 

A long interval indeed had elapsed before aid had reached the 
sufferers, but not owing to the indifference of their relations, or 
of the people ; for, in the earthquake of Calabria, as in other 
events, good preponderated over evil, and while a few men showed 
themselves atrocious}}^ wicked, others displayed heroic virtue. In 
one instance, a wealtliy man caused excavations to be made in the 
rubbish of his house, until he had found and recovered his money 
and other valuables ; he then stopped the search, although he left 
his uncle, brother, and wife, perhaps still alive, beneath the ruins. 
Again, there were two brothers who had been disputing the pos- 
session of a large inheritance, and, as will happen between near 
relations, were at variance with one another and enemies. Andrea 
fell with the house ; Vincenzo inherited the disputed property ; 
but anxious and uneasy for the fate of his brother, he never rested 
until he had unburied him, and was fortunate enough to take him 
out alive. But hardly had the magistrates resumed their func- 
tions when Andrea, deaf to all proposals of accommodation, had 
the ingratitude to renew the lawsuit, and lost it. Were I to relate 
all the instances of kindness and savage cruelty, of gratitude and 
ingratitude which occurred, I should fill many pages, merely to 
prove the truth of the old adage, that man is the best and worst of 
created beings. The cause of the delay in disinterring those buried 
beneath the ruins, was, that terror and tlie care of self-preservation 
absorbed every other thought and affection during the first days ; 
deprived of their homes in the most severe month of winter, ex- 
posed to violent rain, storms, and wind, their cellars destroyed, 
their stores of corn wasted, and the people of the neighbourhood 
afraid to bring victuals to a place where death was so constant and 
near, all their labour and money was devoted to the construction 
of rude huts, and the purchase of food for the support of life : the 
thought of their relations was faint and secondary. 

Habit made these trials supportable ; the rudest huts were 




156 HISTOKY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1783. 

improved, and even embellished ; tlie inhabitants of distant vil- 
lages, attracted by the love of gain, brought food and articles of 
convenience and luxury, and, when their sufferings and afflictions 
were abated, they returned to the enjoyments of life, to love and 
marriage. Society was re-organized, but not improved ; during the 
first days, the general feeling of terror had absorbed all other pas- 
sions, such as hatred, cupidity, and revenge, and there being no 
temptation to crime, that vicious population were for the moment 
peaceable and devout, except that when they saw the great with 
their heads bowed in affliction, they kept repeating with a mali- 
cious pleasure, which might be excused in the vassals of proud and 
haughty barons, " Ah ! now rich and poor are all equal.'' The 
inhabitants of the baronial towns, menials and low ruffians, who 
had lately been released from prison (as in the terrible commo- 
tions of the 5th February, a feeling of humanity had caused the 
prison doors to be thrown open), now began the work of plunder 
amidst the ruins, robbing the huts which were least strongly 
guarded, and committing murder and every iniquity : yet these very 
men were earning large sums by their labour, in building cottages or 
digging in the ruins, or by going to a distance to purchase food. 
Many families who had been in easy circumstances were impover- 
ished, and many more acquired great wealth. Personal property 
was for the most part destroyed, while in the new direction taken 
by the waters, the earth having been carried away in some places, 
and accumulated in others, rendered the most fertile lands bar- 
ren ; and distant kinsmen of deceased families suddenly received 
unhoped-for accessions. By the land belonging to one person being 
superposed upon that of another, and by other cases of disputed 
property, for which there was no precedent in the Code, nor guide 
for the decision of the judges, numberless changes occurred, and 
property was divided and subdivided ; and as suits at law had been 
destroyed with the archives, and papers and documents with the 
houses, the claims of private individuals were lost or confounded. 
The rights of property were therefore as much convulsed as the 
earth itself, and these changes of fortune being so rapid and unex- 
pected, helped to degenerate the morals of the people. 

The first tidings reached Naples so speedily, that from its very 
suddenness, and because truths w^hich exceed the common belief 



17^3. FERDINAND IV. 157 

look like fiction, it was not credited. Flying rumours, besides 
messengers find letters, informed the Government that the disaster 
was only too true, and immediately as much as human weakness 
could supply against the irresistible force of nature, was sent to the 
assistance of the suiferers. Clothes, food, money, physicians, arti- 
ficers, and architects, followed by learned academicians, archaeolo- 
gists, and painters, all hastened to Calabria ; and, before any, the 
representative of the principality, field-marshal Francesco Pigna- 
telli. A junta of magistrates was placed at the head of the admi- 
nistration ; and the public revenue, and those of the Church, were 
collected and preserved in chests said to be consecrated ; order 
was maintained in tte State, the taxes, of which the ecclesiastical 
property paid half, as agreed to by the Concordat of 1741, were 
proportioned to the distressed state of Calabria, while an extraor- 
dinary tax of 1,200,000 ducats was imposed on the remaining ten 
provinces of the kingdom, for the aid of the two which had been 
ruined ; and thus the aflilicted population gradually recovered from 
their losses.^ 

In the summer, the stench from the dead bodies (some of which 
only had been burnt, and those too late), that from the stagnant 
waters, with unhealthy meteors, penury, distress, and bodily suffer- 
ing, produced an epidemic disorder, which spread throughout the 
two Calabrias, and added dead to the dead, and affliction to the 
affliction of the people. Thus the year passed miserably away, 
and it was not until the commencement of the year 1784, when 
the land had regained its consistency, when the epidemic was 
spent, when the calamity was forgotten, or men had become re- 
signed to misfortune, that they Avere able to look back and coolly 



^ Lorsque la nouvelle dii fatal boule- triner Fignatelli avant sou depart. Pigna- 

jrsement de la Calabre arriva a Naples, le telli n'exc'cuta pas la dixieme partie des 

)i fit aussitot partir un de ses ministres ordres qu'il avoit refxie du roi. II garda 

Fignatelli, avec une somme considerable une bonne moitie de I'argent qui lui restait, 



I 

^^^)our secourir les habitans. Si les ordres et remit le surplus an roi en I'assurant que 

du roi eussent ete executes avec fidelite, la Calabre etoit en bon etat. Fignatelli est 

aucun Calabrois n'eut peri depuis 1 epoque devenu I'objet de I'execration publique ; le 

du treniblement de torre, mais la megere roi instruit quoique fort tard de sa scelera- 

Autricliienne voulant afToiblir sur le coeur tesse et de sa perfidie devint furieux ; mais 

de Ferdinand Timpression de cette nouvelle, la protection de la reine a sauve Fignatelli. 

tacha de lui persuader que le recit etoit 11 brille encore a la cour. — Mimoires Sc' 

fort exagere ; et eut grand soin d'endoc- crets des Cours de V Italic. Pub. 1793. 



158 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1784 

calculate their losses. In the course of ten months, two hundred 
cities and villages had been destroyed, and 60,000 Calabrese had 
perished by all manner of deaths, while it was impossible to com- 
pute the amount of damage, which miglit well be said to be in- 
calculable. There were the usual number of births, many and 
strange marriages ; crimes were frequent and atrocious, and afflic- 
tion and mourning everywhere. 

In the first days of the year 1784, the Emperor Joseph ii. 
came to Naples under a private name. Refusing the honours 
due to his rank, and the reception prepared for him in the palace, 
he ashed for a guide and instructor to point out all that was re- 
markable in the city. The queen sent him Luigi Serio, a learned 
man and scholar, of agreeable manners and conversation. Joseph 
wished to visit the scenes of the recent devastations in Calabria, 
but was deterred by the difficulties of access, the winter season, 
and the want of good roads. He, for the second time, con- 
versed with those Neapolitans who bore the highest reputation 
for learning and patriotism, whose acquaintance he had made on 
his former visit. He again spoke with them of his bold and 
philosopliical projects for the government of the empire, and, 
at his departure, left behind him a character for virtue and 
philanthropy. 

Anxious to imitate his example, and that of Leopold Grand 
Duke of Tuscany, the Queen of Naples persuaded the king to 
make a tour in Italy ; but the pride of the Bourbons not permitting 
them to assume private names, or to rest contented with a small 
retinue of civilians, they travelled with all the pomp of royalty. 
On the SOth April 1 785, they embarked on a vessel richly fitted 
up, followed by twelve men of war, and sailed for Leghorn, avoid- 
ing the States of Rome, in order to mark their displeasure towards 
the pontiff, at that time their enemy. Arrived in the harbour, 
they were visited by the princes of Tuscany, with whom they pro- 
ceeded to Pisa and Florence. The old custom of holding a tourna- 
ment on the bridge was revived in Pisa, though, by omitting the 
warlike reality of a fiercer age, it was reduced to a theatrical show. 
Other honours and diversions awaited them at Florence. It is 
said that the Grand Duke Leopold, full of the reforms he had in- 
troduced in his State of Tuscany, asked the king how much and 



ir>^s. FEKDINAND IV. 159 

what he had done for his kingdom ; to which Ferdinand replied, 
" Notliing." Then, after a moment's pause, he added, " Many Tus- 
cans beg for employment in my kingdom ; how many Neapolitans 
ask the same of your highness in Tuscany?" But before the 
Duke could answer, the queen prudently interrupted the conversa- 
tion.^ The sovereigns proceeded from Florence to Milan, thence 
to Turixi and Genoa, where they embarked upon the same fleet, 
increased by English, Dutch, and Maltese vessels, which, together 
with the ships of the king (twenty-three men-of-war of all sizes), 
conveyed them as far as the port of Naples. Tliey had travelled 
four months with so much splendour and profusion, which was 
reported and exaggerfited a few years later in Germany, that Fer- 
dinand acquired the name of the Golden King. The city of Naples 
held great rejoicings on the return of the sovereigns, which was 
celebrated as if they had achieved a national victory. The journey 
cost the treasury more than a million of ducats, enough to have 
healed the recent wounds inflicted by the earthquake. 

The end of the year 1788 left the palace in mourning. Two of 
the princes, Januarius aged nine years, and Charles six months, 
were seized with small-pox just when a messenger arrived to 
announce the death of Charles iii., king of Spain, which had taken 
place on the 14th December of that year. Although he was suc- 
ceeded by Charles iv., brother of our king, the royal family lost 
the support of the wisdom and name of the deceased monarch. A 
few days afterwards the Infant Januarius died, and was followed 
to the grave by the younger Infant Prince Charles ; and at the 
funeral rites, which were celebrated in the royal chapel, the effigies, 
and the names of the father and two sons of the king, were ex- 
hibited. This accumulation of misfortunes would have caused 

' Gian Gastone, the last Grand Diikc of son, Leopold. Many Tuscans left the 

the House of Medici, died 1737. Under country on the death of Gian Gastone. 

his mild govemracnt, the attachment of More than 30,000 families settlud in Naples 

the Tuscans to the House of Medici, which and Sicily, where they formed a strong 

had been long dornmnt, revived. Afier hond of union among themselves, and, from 

the war between the Houses of Hapsburg their superior education to that of the 

and Bourbon, the povircis of Europe de- Neapolitans, made rapid fortunes, and 

cided on bestowing Tuscany on Francis filled places of influence and profit. — See 

Duke of Lorraine, the husband of Maria Memoires Secrets des Coura de V Italic, 

Theresa, from whom it passed to her second vol. i. p. 293. 



160 HISTOEY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 17S8. 

endless sorrow in a private family ; but the palace was consoled 
by eight living children ; the queen was pregnant, and these mis- 
fortunes befel a royal house, in whom the affections of blood are 
weakened by the habits of life, and the diversions of a court. 

That same year, 1788, died, universally lamented, Gaetano 
Filangieri, at the age of thirty-six, leaving his immortal work, en- 
titled, Sciema delta Legislazione (the Science of Legislation), in- 
complete. His loss was bitterly deplored by his friends, as well 
as by the philosophers of the age ; but a time of great misery was 
at hand (then not far distant), when men as distinguished as 
Filangieri for learning and virtue were doomed to perish upon the 
scaffold, or under tortures ; and those who had mourned him, were 
then consoled with the thought, that his premature death had 
anticipated an age of tyranny. 

The king had gained nothing by his visit to other states ; 
for, as he neither cared for constitutions nor laws, nor the growth 
nor decay of empires, and had seen no land whose beauties 
were comparable with his own Naples, he returned to his king- 
dom more in love with it than ever, and more than ever despising 
every other. This sentiment or prejudice, which he shared with 
his subjects, is confounded with the idea of patriotism in the 
minds of the most civilized as well as the most barbarous people. 
But whatever his motives might be, Ferdinand felt that he owed 
some monument of regal grandeur to the demands of the age ; the 
palaces and buildings which he had finished at a heavy expense were 
begun by his father, and the glory belonged to Charles ; the two 
theatres of the Fondo and of San Ferdinando, built in his reiirn, did 
him little honour, compared with the magnificent theatre of San 
Carlos, which owed its origin to his predecessor ; and the other 
building of the Granili, as it was called, at the bridge of the Mad- 
dalena, was rather censured than praised ; the good laws of his reign, 
and the power of the secular jurisdiction maintained against tliat 
of the Pope, did not originate with him, but was begun before his 
time, and redounded to the honour of his councillors and ministers. 
He, therefore, determined to repeat his experiment which had been 
so highly applauded, by establishing a colony, like those in the 
desert islands off Sicily, and proposed to found one still better 
adapted for the promotion of arts and manufactures, in a place not 



1788. FERDINAND IV. 161 

fixr remote from the palace of Caserta. He selected for its site the 
rising ground called San Leucio, where lie built a number of houses 
for the colonists, and others of larger dimensions, for the manufac- 
ture of silk, besides an hospital, a church, and a small villa for his 
own residence. He provided, at a great expense, foreign artifi- 
cers, new machinery, and ingenious works ; and, when this was 
completed, he collected thirty-one families, who came there upon 
liis invitation or their free choice, and formed a population of 21 1 
souls. He next composed statutes for the regulation of the manu- 
facture, and for the administration of the rising society, and added 
a code of laws, of which I will here give a few extracts, as this 
was the true glory of the king, and a document of the spirit of 
the age, and as it gave no small impulse to the political opinions 
of the day. A royal edict was issued in the year 1789 in these 
words : — 

"In the magnificent palace of Caserta, begun by my august 
father, and continued by me, I did not find that silence and soli- 
tude conducive to meditation and repose of mind, but another city 
in the midst of the country, which rivalled the capital in luxury 
and magnificence ; and, while seeking a place of retirement, I fixed 
on the mount San Leucio as best adapted to my purpose ; from 
whence the colony arose/' 

After having explained his intentions, and related w^hat he had 
.already accomplished, he dictated the laws, and urged the duties 
incumbent on the inhabitants, towards God, towards the State, in 
the colony, and in their families. The ordinances which follow 
are worthy of record : — 

" Merit alone shall confer distinction among the colonists of 
San Leucio ; there shall be perfect equality in dress, and all luxury 
is strictly forbidden. 

" Marriage shall be celebrated as a religious as well as a civil 
rite ; the choice of the young people shall be free, nor shall the 
parents be allowed to interfere ; and as the spirit and soul of the 
society of San Leucio is equality among the colonists, dowries are 
abolished. I, the king, will bestow the house with the implements 
of trade, and all necessary assistance to every new household. 

" I hereby will and command, in order to avoid those legal con- 
tests which are the usual sequel of the act, that none among you 

VOL. I. 



162 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1788. 

make a will. Natural justice alone must guide you in your behavi- 
our towards your relatives. Male and female children shall succeed 
in equal shares to the heritage of their parents ; the parents shall 
succeed to the children, and, after them, the collateral relations, 
only in the first degree ; failing them, the wife in the usufruct ; 
if there should be no heirs (and none can inherit except those 
above mentioned) the property of the defunct shall go to the Monte,^ 
and to the fund for orphans. 

" Funeral obsequies shall be simple, devout, without any dis- 
tinction, and shall be conducted by the parish at the expense of 
the family. It is forbidden to wear black, except for parents, for 
a husband or wife, and then not longer than two months, when 
the sign of mourning may be worn on the arm. 

" Inoculation for small-pox is commanded, which the magistrates 
shall enforce, without permitting the authority or tenderness of 
parents to interfere. 

" All boys and girls shall learn in the nonnal schools, reading, 
writing, arithmetic, and their several duties ; and shall be taught 
their trade in other schools. The magistrates shall be responsible 
to us for the fulfilment of this law. 

*' These magistrates, called ' seniori,' shall be elected in a solemn 
assembly of the citizens, composed of the heads of families, by 
secret ballot, and by a majority of votes. They shall settle dis- 
putes among the citizens, and pronounce judgment ; and their deci- 
sions on matters appertaining to the manufacture carried on in 
the colony, shall be without appeal ; they shall be empowered to 
jnmish all petty delinquencies in the way of correction ; they shall 
watch over the execution of the laws and statutes. The office of 
' seniore' shall last one year. 

" The citizens of San Leucio in all cases involving interests be- 
yond the competence of the ' seniori,' or for misdemeanours, shall 
be amenable to the common magistrates and laws of the kingdom. 
A citizen delivered up as guilty to the ordinary tribunals, shall be 
first privately stripped of the dress of the colonists, and then, until 
he shall be declared innocent, he shall be deprived of the rights 
and benefits of a colonist. 

^ Monte. A bank where money is lent by tlie Right Honourable W. E, Gladstone, 
out upon interest. See Farini, translated vol. i. p. 143. 



1790. FERDINAND IV. 163 

" On feast days, after the celebration of the day, and after de- 
livering up the work of the past week, those capable of bearing 
arms shall go through their military exercises ; and as your first 
duty is to your country, you must give your blood and labour in 
its defence and honour. 

*' These are the laws which I present to you, citizens and colo- 
nists of San Leucio. Observe them, and you will be happy." 

By such good laws, the colony prospered and grew rich. At its 
commencement it numbered 214 colonists, and now, after a lapse 
of forty years, there are 823. Their manufactures are excellent ; 
the operatives were happy until the pestilence of political opinions 
and suspicion penetrated this receptacle of industry and peace. 
But when the code appeared it was the wonder of the world, and 
delighted the people of Xajiles, who, although they knew that these 
ideas did not proceed directly from the king, hoped to see the prin- 
ciples of government in the colony spread throughout the kingdom. 

Two of the king's daughters, Maria Theresa and Luigia 
Amalia, had reached a marriageable age ; and his son and heir, 
Francis, was twelve years old, when it was proposed to form new 
connexions for the family by their three nuptials. Even the 
shadow of Spanish authority in the Court of Naples had disap- 
peared by the death of Charles iii., and the Bourbons of France 
were held in little estimation. The queen, therefore, liberated 
from foreign influence, and all-powerful over her husband, deter- 
mined by the marriages of her three children to strengthen the 
bond with one ally ; and, therefore, to unite the two princesses to 
two Austrian archdukes (Francis and Ferdinand), and the Arch- 
duchess Maria Clementina, of the same family, to Prince Francis 
of Naples. But the untimely death of Joseph ii. intervened in 
February 1790. 

To him succeeded the Grand Duke Leopold, whose eldest son 
Francis remained at Vienna, the hope of the empire ; and his 
second, Ferdinand, came as grand duke to Tuscany. The future 
destiny of the royal brides being thus improved, the preparations 
for the marriages were hastened; and that year, 1790, the king 
and queen of Naples accompanied their daughters to Vienna, 
where both nuptials took place, and where the preliminaries of tlie 
third were settled ; the betrothed pair being yet too young to 



164 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1790- 

marry, the queen was satisfied with having drawn the tie to her 
family closer. Splendid fetes were given in the imperial palace ; 
besides w^hich the Emperor Leopold went to Hungary to be 
crowned king, escorted for the ceremony by Ferdinand and Caro- 
line of Naples, whom the Hungarians, after having honoured their 
own king, addressed in Latin, praising the reforms they had 
already introduced for the benefit of their people, and mentioning 
San Leucio by name. So far does the good or evil fame of princes 
extend ! 



1790. FERDINAND IV. 165 



CHAPTER IV. 

THE REVOLUTION IN FRANCE AND ITS FIRST EFFECTS IN THE 
KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 

The revolution begun in France was already, in the year 1790, 
disturbing the peace of the sovereigns and people of Europe, and 
effected so entire a change in the tone of the government in Naples, 
that it hardly appeared the king and his ministers were the same. 
I have, for this reason, divided the proceedings of the reign of 
Ferdinand iv. down to the year J 799, into two books : and as it 
would be impossible to comprehend the political changes of Naples 
apart from those of France, I shall give an account of what there 
took place (although well known through other books), but in the 
hope that it will not be unacceptable to the reader of the present 
day, and useful to the future. 

The disorders in the interior administration of France, which 
had commenced during the reign of Louis xiv., and had increased 
under the kings his successors, reached their climax in the reign 
of Louis xvL When, in the year 1786, it became necessary, in 
order to save the country from imminent ruin, to retrench the 
expenses, to abolish or restrict privileges, and increase the taxes, 
these measures met with obstacles in the habits and luxury of the 
palace, in the audacity of the clergy and nobles, and in the fears 
of the people. The ministers were daily changed, and, as is usually 
the case where there are disorders in the State, every change 
raised the confidence and hopes of the people, and restored the 
finances, but only for a time, and to fall again with the fall of the 
minister. The king summoned a council of notables, consisting 
of seven princes or members of the blood-royal, five ministers, 
twelve councillors of state, thirty-nine nobles, eleven ecclesiastics, 
and seventy-six magistrates and officials j in all, one hundred and 



166 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1790. 

fifty members. They met in Versailles in the beginning of the 
year 1787; Louis opened the meeting by declaring it to be his 
intention in this assembly to follow the example of other French 
kings, and that his object was to increase the revenues of the 
State, and to render them secure and unembarrassed, to disfran- 
chise commerce, and relieve the distress of his subjects ; he there- 
fore asked the advice and assistance of the notables. The Garde 
des Sceaux spoke next, pronouncing a eulogy on the king ; and 
was followed by the comptroller of the exchequer, Charles Alexan- 
der Calonne, who, in a haughty tone, endeavoured to impress upon 
his audience, the services and labours of Louis, the miserable state 
of the interior administration in 1783, its prosperity in 1787, and 
his own merits ; proceeding to reply to the public accusations, 
he charged Terray and Necker, his predecessors in ofiice, with false- 
hood, and concluded by proposing extraordinary taxes to be levied 
upon ecclesiastical and feudal property. His speech and arrogant 
manner displeased, were unsuited to the times, and only increased 
the difficulties of the king and the government. His proposal there- 
fore met with the opposition its author deserved, and such was the 
outcry raised against Calonne, that the king was obliged, from pru- 
dence, to dismiss him, and he chose, as his successor, the bishop of 
Toulouse, a violent speaker in the assembly of notables, but accep- 
table to his colleagues : when seconding the wishes of the king, 
the assembly proposed new taxes on the property of the clergy and 
nobles, and revoked many privileges ; after registering these de- 
crees, they dissolved themselves. 

Whilst the assembly of notables and the court of Versailles were 
thus agitated, the savans and friends of innovation in France were 
discussing the same political topics with popular freedom, and 
rousing the people to demand more extensive reforms than those 
offered by the king. When these offers, therefore, were (in accord- 
ance with usage) sent up to the parliament of Paris, the members, 
ambitious of the applause of the nation, refused to ratify them. 
One young deputy denounced the extravagance of the palace, and 
another spoke upon the necessity of convoking the States-General ; 
as this measure promised to be of great utility, as well from the 
powers delegated to that body, as from its being in accordance 
with the universal desire expressed by the nation, the resolution 



1790. FERDINAND IV. 167 

was gladly heard and seconded. The convocation of the States- 
General, which was the commencement of the French Revolution, 
was first demanded by the parliament of Paris. 

The king was indignant at this proposal, and summoning the 
parliament to Versailles in a special meeting (called in the Con- 
stitutions of France a Bed of Justice), caused the acts which had 
been rejected in Paris, to be ratified. But the Parliament, on re- 
covering their liberty, protested against the violence to which they 
liad been subjected, and the king, as a punishment and example, 
banished them to Troyes. The other parliaments of France pro- 
claimed to the people /the acts of the parliament of Paris, and as 
none of the edicts or laws had been registered, they could not take 
effect, and immeasurably increased the difficulties of the exchequer. 
The king at length, obliged to feign a reconciliation, declared the 
parliament penitent and suppliant, and recalled the members to 
Paris, in order to re-assemble them on the 20th September. 

Upon this day, with ill-timed assumption of power, laying aside 
the proper and usual forms of address, he read a decree, which 
imposed a loan of four hundred and forty millions, and promised 
the convocation of the States-General at the end of five years. 
Silence and consternation prevailed throughout the assembly, and 
the Duke of Orleans asked, with submissive gestures, whether this 
were a bed of justice or a free congress ? To which the king re- 
plied, " It is a royal session ! '* After the first speaker, other and 
bolder tongues were unloosed ; and Orleans and the deputies being 
exiled from the assembly and from the city, the new law was re- 
gistered by decree. It was next resolved in the royal councils to 
destroy the cause and germs of disobedience in the parliaments, 
by restricting the judicial authority, as well as by undermining 
the political power of this assembly. The king, therefore, created 
a new court, called the Gour Pleniere, composed of peers, prelates, 
and tlie chiefs of the army ; but before publishing the edict, he 
awaited the arrival of the m^itary at the seat of parliament, arid 
until the agents of the royal authority should be prepared for the 
seizure and punishment of the contumacious. 

These intrigues were discovered to the parliament of Paris by 
means of spies and by bribes to those intrusted with the secret. 
They thereupon thwarted the edict by a public manifesto, setting 



168 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1790. 

fortli tlie institutions of France, the rights of the people and of the 
parliaments, and the obligations of the king. Menacing voices 
were heard, while more alarming disturbances agitated the pro- 
vinces, where tlie discontent was unrestrained bj fear, and where 
the people were neither duped by the artifices, nor corrupted by 
the gifts of the court. In the midst of all this, the new taxes were 
refused, the loan failed, the expenses were increased, the adminis- 
trations were disorganized, and the treasury empty. As evasions 
were no longer of any use, the king, forced on by hard necessity, 
in the middle of the year 1788, convoked the States-General for 
the first of May of the ensuing year, and recalled Necker to the ad- 
ministration. So great an event in prospect soothed present irrita- 
tion, every faction placed its hopes in that great assembly, and the 
king himself trusted to their support for his despotic power. 

The days which intervened between the convocation of the States- 
General and its meeting, were passed on either side in solicitude 
and active endeavours to promote the interests of their party ; but 
the labours of the savans were most successful. While discussing 
political questions, they explained what constitutes the people, 
and what the monarchy ; in whom the sovereign power resides ; 
what were the clergy, the nobility, and the third estate in the 
nation ; the judicial authority of the magistrates, and the prin- 
ciples of taxation ; in what consists the citizen, his duties and 
rights, and how far the dignity of man ought to be considered, in 
the end aimed at by the laws and the acts of rulers. By these 
lessons France learned to know and to aim at the attainment of 
that form of government best adapted to her circumstances. The 
idea of freedom did not then pass the boundaries of monarchy ; 
for the very men who one year later became the warm advocates 
of a republic, at that time terminated their arguments and hopes 
in a representative chamber, and in other forms which neither 
encroached on the prerogative nor the dignity of the sovereign. 

The States-General recalled difficult but honourable periods. 
Out of fifteen assemblies enumerated in history, beginning with 
the year 1302, under Philippe le Bel, until 1601?, under Louis 
XIII., one alone, that of 1560, had been turbulent and inefii- 
cient. The remaining thirteen at one time supported the king in 
his contests with the pontiff, at another reconciled dissension- 



1790. FERDINAND IV. 169 

within the royal family, sometimes furnished an army to repel a 
foreign enemy, and frequently supplied money to the impoverished 
exchequer ; but amidst the infinite variety of impulses by which 
such crowded assemblies are moved, the peace of the kingdom had 
never been disturbed. The king was encouraged by these exam- 
ples, and besides hoped to introduce such persons into the States- 
General as would support the prerogatives of despotism. 

The deputies assembled at Versailles on the day fixed, but were 
divided among themselves ; for the nobility and clergy now per- 
ceiving the injury they would sustain by the fall of absolute power, 
and repenting their show of resistance in the assembly of notables 
and in tlie parliaments, approached the throne, although timid 
and mistrustful, but resolved to support their own rights (as they 
called their privileges) against the attacks and presumption of the 
Third Estate, who arrived elated, strong in their numbers, and 
supported by the arguments of philosophy. While this want of 
liarmony subsisted, it was impossible to reduce the three assemblies 
into one ; and, finally, the name of Third Estate being considered 
inappropriate,^ they were called the chamber of commons, and 
afterwards the National Assembly. The instructions of their con- 
stituents were first read, by which it appeared that the electors 
desired the government of France should continue monarchical ; 
the crown hereditary in the male line ; and that the person of the 
king should be sacred and inviolate ; that the king should remain 
the depository of the executive power ; the agents of his authority 
respondhle ; the laws only valid when made by the nation, and 
confirmed by the king ; the consent of the nation necessary for 
taxation, and that property as well as the liberty of the citizen 
should be held sacred ; while all agreed in proposing that the pre- 
sent States-General should give the kingdom a code of laws, and 
that their future convocations sliould be fixed at certain periods 
and guaranteed. 

These were the instructions and demands of the French people 
in the year 1789, a document alike honourable to the age and 

^ Because, though originally composed and many of the clergy joined them, after 

of men of letters, merchants, and lawyers, the proposal for the union of the three into 

some of the nobles likewise procured th(!ir one chamber had been rejected by the two 

own election as deputies to this chamber, first. 

VOL. I. P 



170 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1790. 

nation. The necessity of a reform in the State was apparent 
to all except the king, the nobles, and clergy, who were blinded 
by the fascinations of despotism. On the 20th June, the royal 
guards stopped the National Assembly when about to enter their 
hall of meeting ; and after vain remonstrances, the members were 
obliged to seek shelter in a large building used for the game 
of tennis,^ and there standing during the whole day (the old and 
infirm included), they declared themselves permanent until they 
should have given a perpetual statute to France. This resolution 
was sealed by an oath. The Assembly itself, the place of meeting, 
the declaration, and the oath, were the beginning of the Revolu- 
tion, which was now inevitable. The nerve and soul of these move- 
ments was Gabriele Onorato Ricchetti, Count of Mirabeau, of 
Italian origin, a noble, but deputy to the Third Estate from Pro- 
vence, and celebrated for his eloquence and for his political schemes ; 
he was a passionate lover and champion of liberty, but only of that 
liberty which the wants and habits of France demanded. His 
views were shared by other men of great abilities ; but while their 
honours were eclipsed by deeds of greater renown which followed, 
Mirabeau alone among the men of his time still liolds an exalted 
position, and is held up as a spectacle to future generations. 

The meeting of the 20th June alarmed the king and the court. 
The king sent a messenger to announce his intention to address 
the Three Estates together, in a general assembly, on the day 
after the morrow ; and the next day, having summoned strong 
detachments of infantry and cavalry, he encamped them in a hos- 
tile attitude around Versailles and Paris. On the day fixed, he 
repaired to the Congress amidst the loud cheers of the people, and 
addressing the members in a haughty tone, revoked the decrees, 
and even tlie name of the National Assembly, and commanded the 

^ Tlie Tiers Etat had voted themselves was most convenient for the purpose. AVork- 

the National Assembly on the 17th June, in men were accordingly sent there to erect a 

their single chamber ; they declared the throne, and the royal sitting proclaimed in 

taxation levied in the kingdom by illegal the streets of Versailles, but no intimation 

means, null ; but allowed its continuance was sent either to the Assembly or the 

until the separation of the assembly. The president, who, on arriving at their own 

king resolved to hold a sitting on the 23d door, were unceremoniously repulsed. — See 

June, to harangue the States in the hall of Smythe, Lectures on the French Bevolu- 

the Commons, which, on account of its size, tion. 



17i)0. FERDINAND IV. l7l 

union of the three chambers in one. It was observed that he 
declared : — " No measure of the States-General should take effect 
without the royal approbation. That no king had ever done as 
much as he for the benefit of liis people ; that he alone understood 
how to act for the good of the French, and (if abandoned by others) 
he alone would complete the work commenced, since he was the 
real and sole representative of his people.'' In the midst of this 
oration, the Garde des Sceaux read a paper aloud in which the 
words, " Le Roi le veut, le Roi I'ordonne,'' were frequently heard, 
with other phrases equally at variance with the temper of the times. 
The king, then declaring that all the demands of that assembly 
had been complied with, departed, followed by the applause as well 
as by the persons of the members of the first and second Estates, 
and by the silence of the third, who remained in the hall for 
deliberation ; when dismissed they resisted, and in the midst of 
this confusion and hurry of time, they decreed the persons of the 
representatives of the people inviolate. 

Suspicions and uneasiness continued to increase. The king, 
tired of the lukewarm counsels of Necker, sent him into exile ; 
additional soldiers were collected round Versailles; the loyalty 
of the guards was stimulated by military banquets in the palace, 
and the queen fomented the spirit of irritation ; the stores of 
corn for that year, already scanty, were still further exhausted ; 
and popular commotions disturbed the whole of France. Yet 
both the Assembly and the king desired peace ; but peace to 
one party was new laws and a free government, and to the other, 
submission and the wonted docility of the people ; and thus from 
a mutual desire for tranquillity arose discord. Hardly was it 
known that Necker had been dismissed, when the minds of men 
being already prepared for some great event, all Paris was in a 
state of excitement, as he was believed to be the support of the 
finances, the barrier opposed to the extreme measures of despotism, 
and the mediator between the Assembly and the Court. The 
populace rose in a tumult, and bore the marble bust of the dis- 
graced minister in triumph through the city, vociferating praises 
in his honour, and menaces against the monarch. The Swiss 
guards, unable to tolerate this sight, rushed upon the crowd with 
their weapons, broke the bust, and interrupted the triumphal pro- 



1 72 HISTOKY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1790. 

cession ; a triumph as undeserved as his exile, for Necker was 
only a well-intentioned man with fair abilities, vain, and unequal 
to the exigencies of the times, and owed his reputation and mis- 
fortunes to the present emergency : thrice honourably invited into 
France, and thrice banished, his fall was each time lamented, and 
his last dismissal was an act of imprudence on the part of the king. 

The three chambers, until that time at variance, were recon- 
ciled by their fears, so that they conjointly sent to petition the 
king to remove the camp from the two cities, and to arm the civic 
guard for the defence of the state. He replied, that the condition 
of Paris obliged him, instead of removing the troops, to draw them 
nearer, and increase their numbers ; that to arm the civic guard 
would at that moment be dangerous ; that he knew how to repress 
popular tumults, and that he alone was able to judge of the urgency 
of the case. These bold words would not have emanated from so 
timid a character as Louis, had not he, prompted by the instincts 
natural to royalty, by deference to the will of his beloved and 
hauglit}^ queen, and by evil counsellors, been long inwardly re- 
solved to crush the spirit of innovation by the force of his array, 
as soon as affairs reached such a climax as to justify the extremity 
of turning his arms against his own subjects ; and meanwhile 
the dissensions in the chamber, popular tumults and civil com- 
motions, were smoothing the way for the accomplishment of his 
evil design. 

But in Paris, the civic guard assembled in a disorderly 
manner, elected as their commander-in-chief the Marquis de la 
Fayette, who was distinguished for the glory he had won in 
America, fighting in the name of that same liberty for which 
France was now sighing. Suddenly there arose a cry in the city, 
" To the Bastile i" The most daring among the people, supplied 
with weapons stolen from the depots of arms and from the Hotel 
des Invalides, and their numbers augmented by deserters from the 
neighbouring camps, rushed with heedless fury to attack a fortress 
defended by high walls, plenty of arms, and a faithful garrison, and 
commanded by the Marquis de Launay, a staunch royalist, who 
despised the people and theories of political liberty. Vast multi- 
tudes presented themselves before the gates of the castle, loudly 
demanding its surrender by cries and by their messengers, and 



1790. FERDINAND IV. 173 

upon a refusal, their rage, excitement, numbers, and preparations 
for an assault, increased. 

It was a fearful day which saw, on one side, fifty tJiousand 
soldiers led by six generals with a hundred cannon, stationed in 
eight camps, around Paris and Versailles, other troops quartered 
within botli cities, and with an armed fortress in their posses- 
sion ; and all these instruments of destruction ready to act at a 
word from an offended king: and on tlie other, armed ruffians, 
deserters from the army, the people, and vast numbers of the 
lowest of the populace. Fierce encounters were apprehended 
between the contending parties, and that the victory would decide 
the destinies of France. The king meanwhile, either terrified by 
the aspect of affairs, or from irresolution, only drew the camps 
nearer the city, upon which the citizens hastily closed the gates, 
fortified the walls, tore up the pavement, and prepared for defence. 
The civic guard of a hundred and fifty thousand men, armed in 
various ways, waited their orders from the civil authority, who 
sustained his official dignity with marvellous serenity. 

But the rabble collected around the Bastile went about with 
eager rage, seeking an entrance and attempting to force their way 
through the gates and over the walls, while hurling menaces 
against the garrison. The governor, tired of this clamour, and 
feeling secure in the fortress against tlie efforts of an undisciplined 
mob, while certain of aid from the neighbouring camp, ordered his 
men to fire upon the people, when some fell dead and others 
wounded. The crowds retreated, but rage soon succeeded terror, 
and so numerous were the enemy surrounding tlie fortress, tliat 
after they had passed the first circuit of walls, and the people were 
standing beneath the second, the governor, who had hitherto been 
■deaf to terms, hoisted the flag of peace, and the fortress was 
surrendered to the citizens on condition of sparing the lives of 
the garrison. But a raging populace keep no terms ; the unhappy 
Launay leaving the walls was murdered, and his head, fixed on a 
lance, was paraded, amidst horrible rejoicings, tlirough tlie city. 
Many acts, both heroic and terrible, followed ; the instruments of 
torture were drawn forth to public view, and seven unhappy beings 
3ame into the liglit of day, one of whom had lost his reason and 
vvas sinking from extreme old age, an inhabitant of the Bastile 



174 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1790. 

from time immemorial, with none to recognise him, and his name 
and country unknown ; another, who had been confined thirty 
years, and five who had been j^laced there during the reign of 
Louis XVI. That same day (the 14th July 1789), the people 
began to demolish the walls, and the National Assembly decreed 
that the Bastile should disappear. The spot so infamous for acts 
of tyranny, was then called " Place de la Liberte/' 

The revolution advanced by rapid strides ; having been already 
declared in the acts and oaths of the Assembly, it was made irre- 
vocable by the seizure of the Bastile, and by the blood of the 
citizens. This last deed had roused the minds of all men, and 
while the court was overwhelmed with terror, the populace became 
arrogant, the confidence of the people rose, and the world wondered 
what was next to follow. The king next day went to the Assem- 
bly without guards or escort, accompanied only by his brothers, and 
remained standing, while he informed the members he had come 
to consult them on affairs of the utmost importance to the state, 
and still more painful to his feelings ; he alluded to the disorders 
in the city. He, the head of the nation, asked the National Assem- 
bly for the means of restoring public order and tranquillity ; he 
was aware of the malicious rumours current against him, but he 
trusted for their refutation to the universal belief in his rectitude. 
Always one with the nation, and confiding in the representatives 
of the people, and in their loyalty, he had withdrawn the soldiers 
from Versailles and Paris. 

After the Assembly bad applauded these words, and testified 
their respect for the king, and their joy at this announcement, Louis 
was petitioned to choose ministers better adapted to the times, and 
to show himself to the people of Paris. He granted or promised 
all they asked, and departed on foot, accompanied by the Three 
Estates as an escort as far as the palace, where the queen, holding 
the dauphin by the hand, was waiting his return; so that it ai> 
peared as if the whole family of the king was united to the people 
in the bonds of concord for the happiness of France. The ministry 
was changed, and Necker returned ; many of the court retired 
either by command or from the warnings of their consciences ; the 
king went the next day to Paris in a procession composed of 
civilians, escorted by the civic guard, with the National Assembly 



1790. FERDINAND IV. 175 

ill his train ; lie was met by the civic magistrates, and was accom- 
panied by a vast assemblage of the people, who cheered him on his 
way. The hopes of all being confirmed in the speeches which 
followed, the tremendous spectacle of the taking of the Bastile 
was, by a freak of fortune, strangely contrasted in a single day 
with a triumphant peace. 

This flattering appearance of harmony lasted two months or 
more. The chambers made good laws which the king promised 
to ratify ; the clergy and nobles resigned their ancient privileges ; 
patriotic donations relieved the poor and assisted the treasury ; and 
the welcome title of ;*' Restorer of the national liberty" was be- 
stowed upon the king. Whilst the good elements of the state were 
thus strengthening, misdeeds were proportionably fewer. But 
under an outer rind of prosperity, two germs of opposite tendencies 
were secretly fructifying — republicanism and absolutism. Since 
the curb of law had been first loosened and then broken, time- 
lionoured authorities fallen, and that of the king declining, while 
the path by which to reach the summit of fortune and ambition 
had been made easy, many bad or bold spirits proposed to insti- 
tute a more comprehensive form of government in the shape of a 
republic. On the other side, the habits and fascinations of despot- 
ism, which princes and the great can never learn to forget, sug- 
gested schemes of tyranny. The crimes or disorders of the people 
were the means by which the first hoped for the attainment of 
tlieir end ; and those of the second, secret plots and connivance 
within the palace. Sundry indications betrayed the real intentions 
of both parties. 

On the first and second of October the Royal Guards gave a 
^^anquet to the regiments quartered at Versailles, and when in- 
toxicated, they were heard to give cheers for the king and the 
royal family, accompanied by insults and menaces directed against 
^the National Assembly and the most distinguished deputies, who 
^■ere mentioned by name. The king appeared amongst them on 
^nis return from the chase ; and soon afterwards the queen and the 
dauphin ; upon which the acclamations, auguries of success, abusive 
language, and hilarity increased. The queen did not forget this 
banquet when in the court circles, but rewarded those oflicers who 
had been most vehement in their language and ardent in their 



176 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NArLES. 1790. 

offers of service with gifts and words of praise, while the ladies of 
her court dispensed amongst them white cockades, the badge of the 
royalist party. The guards prevented all access to the palace to 
those who wore the tricolour (the national colours), and some of 
the citizens adorned with ribbon of the three colours, were beaten 
and murdered by the body-guard, on the road between Versailles 
and Paris. Meantime the National Assembly, unsuspicious of 
what was going forward, sent up laws to the king, praying for his 
approbation ; but Louis, who had resumed the tone of an absolute 
monarch, answered that this Avas not a time to confirm such acts. 
The tidings of these events spread throughout France, and were 
exaggerated by fame and by the malice of party spirit. 

The Republicans accordingly gained courage. On the morning 
of the 5th October, a number of women (upwards of four thousand) 
of the lowest description, uttering loud cries and lamentations, 
and pretending they were rendered desperate by hunger, re- 
paired to the Hotel de Ville to demand bread, and thence with the 
cries and gestures of mad women, proceeded to ransack houses, 
and commit robberies in the city, and on the road to Versailles. 
Armed with pikes and clubs, and led by some of the people who 
had made themselves notorious at the Bastile, they made all other 
women they fell in with, join their ranks, either voluntarily, or by 
compulsion. The civic guards having quelled the tumults in the 
city, part of them followed the women, suspicious of these new 
kind of troops, and of the uncertain humours of a female army. 
On a sudden, the soldiers stationed in Paris asked leave to accom- 
pany them, and as they could not be deterred either by the autho- 
rity or the advice of their commander-in-chief, twenty thousand 
bearing the name of the army of Paris, and followed by La Fay- 
ette, started for Versailles. They came up with the women wlien 
it was nearly midnight, and whilst these dispersed themselves 
separately or in groups over the city, the soldiers encamped in the 
squares. 

Many disputes arose during the night, and many more the 
following day. The women sent deputations to the Assembly 
and the king, to whom they related all their wants and wishes, 
mingled with entreaties and menaces, tears and rage ; the answers 
were kind and consolatory, and returning to their companions. 



I 



1790. FERDINAND IV. 177 

they gave an account of all they had said or heard ; and wrangled 
and brawled among themselves, until, weary with the fatigue of 
their new vocation, and with the rain which fell in torrents, they 
sought shelter for the night in the churches and under the por- 
ticos of the House of Assembly. A band of ruffians, however (five 
hundred or more), who had followed the women to Versailles, pre- 
pared for tumults, or ready to create them, took no repose ; but one 
after the other entering the gardens and courts of the palace, 
which were negligently guarded, they seized and murdered the sen- 
tinels, and gained possession of the royal mansion. The family, 
consisting of the king^ the queen, the princess Elizabeth, and two 
children, awakened by the noise of arms and by their servants, 
fled to the most secret recesses of the palace; and meantime these 
hardened wretches, with their weapons bared, reached in their 
search the room where the queen had shortly before been sleeping ; 
finding the bed empty, but yet warm, they pierced it in several 
places with daggers or pikes. It providentially happened that they 
were unacquainted with the interior arrangement of the palace, 
and therefore could not reach the place where the unhappy family 
lay concealed, terrified and weeping in silence, lest the sound of 
their cries should betray them : many of the king's guards and of 
the servants were killed. But the civic guard of Versailles and 
the army of Paris now hastened to their aid, and at the first dawn 
of day the deputies of the Assembly, and those citizens who were 
friends of justice meeting together, a guard was placed around the 
palace, and the sanguinary ruffians of the night disappeared. 

Tliis horrible night, never effaced from the mind of the king, 
and never forgiven, was the chief cause of the slaughter of his 
family. The republicans desired that the king should proceed to 
Paris, where their party was strongest, and went about shouting 
with the rabble — " The king to Paris !" The Assembly did not 
interfere, as they hoped for greater security in the metropolis, and 
La Fayette consented, because he could there guard the king 
better, serve the cause of monarchy in his person, and present him 
as an obstacle to both factions. The king made submissive by the 
alarm of the past night, but always declaring his wishes identical 
with those of his people, resolved to proceed that very day with 
his family to Paris. The National Assembly were to follow. 



178 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1790. 

As soon as tlie news was made known, his departure and re- 
ception -were prepared. The ruffians who had quitted Paris two 
days before, now returned triumphant, carrying two heads fixed 
on the points of lances, which bore witness to the deaths of two of 
the body-guard, who, faithful to the king, had been killed fighting 
in the interior of the palace ; this barbarous procession, however, 
only excited pity and respect for the sufferers, and w^as a disgrace 
to those who triumphed. The battalions of women followed, but 
having laid aside the delicacy and modesty of their sex, they ap- 
peared transformed into furies and monsters ; after them, the troops 
led by La Fayette marched in order, and succeeding these multi- 
tudes came the carriages of the king, the queen, and the royal family ; 
who, although they answered with smiles to the joyful shouts of 
the people, still bore on their brows the impress of gloom and 
suspicion, with the fatigue and terror of the preceding night. 
The whole conduct of the government underwent an immediate 
change ; the king confirmed the new laws passed by the Assembly, 
and confided the care of the city to the municipal magistrates, and 
the protection of the kingdom, and even of the palace, to the 
national guards. The ministers were retained as a form of the 
monarchy ; the municipalities, the electors, and the Assembly ruled 
the state ; the king was to all appearance a prisoner, but called 
himself free, in order to conciliate both factions, who desired at 
once to find in him the submission of a captive that he might not 
oppose the new statutes, and the power of a king to legitimize 
them. Louis now began to despair of a restoration to power by his 
own strength, or by the help of his party, and therefore turned his 
thoughts and endeavours to gain the assistance of foreign poten- 
tates, hoping to escape from France, in order to return thither 
with Prussians and Germans. But the time and opportunity had 
not yet arrived for the great struggle. 

Meanwhile France, set free from the restraints of ordinary rule, 
was governed according to chance, and to the abilities of those who 
happened to be in authority in each separate place. The first 
violence of the people was directed against the castles and baronial 
residences, where, excited by their hatred of feudal recollections, 
and burning and plundering in the name of liberty, they committed 
every kind of atrocity. Obscure men, in the hope of rising to power. 



1790. FERDINAND IV. 179 

met together in secret conspiracies ; and the nobles, flying from the 
unhappy land, sought refuge in foreign countries ; the words aris- 
tocrat and enemy became synonymous. The court nobility migrated 
to Coblentz, and the provincial nobility to Piedmont, where, under 
the Count d'Artois, the brother of the Idng, they opposed the Re- 
volution by plots and arms, all which only helped to smooth the 
way to the Republic. Amidst so many discordant or perverse 
designs, the Assembly alone continued to discuss political theories, 
and proposed to rest the monarchy they still advocated upon 
rational foundations. They declared the equality of man, made 
the laws equal, and property and person secure, while clearing the 
path of equity, and preventing or punishing injustice. To the king 
they left honour, wealth, dominion, and the happy privilege of 
granting pardon ; the clergy were no longer to be enriched by 
superstition, but paid by the State, and the Church, thus rendered 
powerless for evil, was increased in dignity. These, and other 
wise and beneficent laws, were matured in the National Assembly. 

Such was France towards the end of the year 1790, but variously 
reported in the world, and conveying a different impression, 
according to the character of the listeners ; kings, courtiers, and 
ministers were alarmed: the clergy were incensed ; whilst the hearts 
of philosophers and innovators rejoiced. The sovereigns of Naples 
heard the news with the greater horror and indignation, as they 
were related to the Bourbons of France, and the two queens were 
sisters. They were at that time in the palace of Vienna, where the 
Emperor Leopold, who was already roused to anger by the rebel- 
lions in Belgium, communicated to them his designs ; for, though 
inclined to promote the welfare of his subjects, he desired it should 
be accepted as a gratuitous concession on the part of the sovereign, 
and, therefore, he had prepared an army to march to the aid of 
King Louis as soon as he should succeed in making his escape 
across the frontiers of France. 

But unanimity was wanting among tlie kings of Europe, for 
while the tlieories of the French Revolution were applicable to 
every people, the policy and character of the ruling powers essen- 
tially differed. England rejoiced in the troubles of her rival ; 
Spain was languishing under a feeble and pusillanimous monarch ; 
Prussia was bargaining with the empire about the price of a larger 




180 HISTOKY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1793. 

share of Poland ; Russia was engaged in a war with the Turks ; 
and Italy, in an impoverished condition, was preparing endless cala- 
mities for herself bj vain hopes and aspirations. Piedmont, in- 
deed, agitated by the commotions of a country so near as France, 
and perceiving that the inhabitants of some districts in a remote 
part of Savoy were inclined to rebel, increased and organized her 
army, and Naples, burning with the same passions as her queen, 
made ready for war and vengeance. 

The time was, however, unpropitious, for the military force of 
the State had degenerated. The census numbered 4,800,000 
Neapolitans, but none among them were disposed for war either by 
nature or habits. The barons had forgotten the use of arms, and, 
only attached to the king from their love of pleasure and grandeur, 
were so enervated that they turned away from every generous ex- 
ertion. The clergy were opposed to the government, and indiffer- 
ent to the troubles of the king, though hostile to the Kevolution 
in France, and sharing the common dangers. The resolution of 
the law courts wavered, from the uncertain results of coming 
events ; the lawyers secretly supporting the government, but ap- 
pearing to submit on compulsion, in order to obtain present ad- 
vantages, without future risk. Philosophers, patriots, and those 
who looked to improvements in the State, admired the theories of 
the Revolution, but, accustomed to see useful reforms emanate 
from the monarch, deprecated the violence which would subvert the 
monarchy. The mass of the people were attached to the king, 
and only knew as much of the Revolution in France as was com- 
municated to them by the great nobles in their district, and by 
the priests in the confessionals and pulpits, and therefore believed 
the French to be impious, cruel incendiaries, murderers, and the 
oppressors of the people. 

The Neapolitan army consisted of 24,000 infantry and cavalry, 
half foreigners and half natives, ill composed, and worse disciplined ; 
and there were no means of increasing their numbers, except by 
the usual routine of forced levies made by the twofold despotism 
of royalty and feudalism ; nor could they be trained, nor taught 
obedience, because they had none to instruct them, and were with- 
out military ardour. The long peace, the abject spirit of their 
rulers, and the poverty of the exchequer, had, as I have already 



1790. FERDINAND IV. 181 

stated, caused the neglect of tlie numbers and efficiency of the 
troops. The artillcrj, by the care of Pomereul, was the best- 
ordered part of tlic army, but it was only in its commencement ; 
there was an insufficiency both of arsenals and depots of arms ; 
the administration was corrupt ; the fortresses in decay ; and the 
traditions, or recollections of the past, and even military habits, 
were forgotten. The navy, however, though composed of only 
three men-of-war, several frigates, besides other smaller vessels — 
in all, thirty ships, was under the direction and management of 
officers, who were some of them good, and others first-rate, and 
was supplied with expert and daring seamen. 

The finances, which for ten years had been in an impoverished 
condition, had been still further drained by expenses caused by the 
earthquake in Calabria, the two costly journeys of the sovereigns, 
and three marriages in the royal family ; they, therefore, could 
hardly meet the expenses of the State in a time of peace, still less 
provide for the exigencies of war ; nor was there any prospect of 
improvement, as the existing taxes, which scarcely affected the 
rich, bore heavily upon the poor ; and, while the former by their 
privileges and power were secure from the imposition of new, the 
latter were equally safe, from their inability to pay. Art there- 
fore had ceased to flourish, industry was diminished, commerce lan- 
guished, and agriculture, although favoured by the climate, remained 
in a primitive state owing to the ignorance of the times, and was 
starved by the bad regulations of the Government ; thus all the 
sources of public wealth were dried up or impoverished. 

Sicily, who acknowledged and yielded her products to the same 
king, and constituted not less than a fourth part of the kingdom, 
was of little service either in providing men or treasure, as she 
refused to furnish soldiers, and the money raised by taxes within 
the island was wasted amidst the disorders of the finance and the 
Court. 

Such were the men and such the state of affairs over which 
ruled Ferdinand iv., weak in courage and intellect, ignorant of 
government, fond of luxury and amusement, indifferent to glory 
and his kingdom, and therefore inclined to a life of indolence and 
pleasure. The queen, who governed rather than the king, was a 
prey to her various passions. The daughter of Maria Theresa, and 



182 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1790. 

educated in the Austrian palace during a period of anxious soli- 
citude caused by long wars, the sister of Antoinette, Queen of 
France, and of the two Emperors, Joseph and Leopold, she was 
ambitious of glory, eager to emulate their renown, vindictive and 
proud, and possessed of more than woman's daring. She was sup- 
ported by General Acton, the all-powerful minister, a stranger to 
the country, as well as to the feelings of the Neapolitans, and who 
was ignorant and cunning, and well skilled in those arts which 
lead to fortune. The rest of the ministers or councillors tacitly 
obeyed his wishes, and thus the kingdom was abandoned through 
the midst of the approaching storms to the guidance of a weak 
king ; of a queen, blinded by the vehemence of her passions ; and 
of Acton, corrupted by selfish avarice. 



BOOK III. 
REIGN OF FERDINAND IV. 

1791-1799. 



CHAPTER I. 



PREPARATIONS FOR WAR AND DEFENCE. 
1791-1793. 

When the sovereigns of Naples left Vienna in the year 1791, 
they hoped to form a confederation in Italy for war against France ; 
but on finding that other princes, though equally alarmed, were not 
equally irate, they reserved the necessary explanation of their 
scheme, until the times were mature, and were the more willing 
to submit to this alternative, as they were aware how much Austria 
deprecated a league of the armed forces of Italy. They therefore 
proceeded to Rome where the PontiiF awaited them. Pius vi. was 
liandsome in person, and possessed agreeable manners, but was as 
fond of ornament, and as vain as a woman. The king and queen 
of Naples in their first journey in 1785, when their quarrel with 
Rome was at its height, had avoided the Pontifical States, and had 
even omitted those outward signs of courtesy usual between 
princes. But the revolution in France, and the common danger, 
had mitigated their wrath, and they had, through their represen- 
tatives, agreed to conditions of amity, by which the gift of the 
Chinea, and the accompanying ceremony were for ever abolished; 
the kings of the Two Sicilies ceased to be called vassals of the 
Holy See, and a large donative was to be conceded by them upon 
their coronation, as a pious offering to the holy apostles ; the 
Pope was empowered to nominate the subjects of the king to 
ecclesiastical benefices ; to appoint the bisjiops out of three candi- 



184 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OP NAPLES. 1791. 

dates proposed by the king, to grant dispensations in the case of 
impediments in matrimony, and to confirm the dispensations 
already granted by bishops. 

This having been agreed upon, the monarchs of Naples ap- 
proached the dominions of the Pontiff as friends, and with the 
respect due to his office ; while his Holiness prepared to receive 
them with honours and favour. Arrived on the 20th April, they 
proceeded that same day to the Church of St. Peter, and thence 
by a private entrance to the apartments of Pius, where, the king 
enjoining silence on the guards and pontifical menials, entered 
the palace unexpectedly, and penetrated to the room where Pius 
w^as reposing upon an arm-chair, attired in his magnificent sacer- 
dotal robes. This confidence, proceeding from such haughty 
princes, so gratified the Pope, that past grievances were forgotten, 
and from that time forth he became their sincere friend. The 
festivities lasted many days, and rich presents were interchanged. 
The two princesses of France, Adelaide and Victoria, the aunts of 
king Louis, were in Rome, having fled from the revolutions of 
their native land, and, by their narrative of the suflerings endured 
by their family, still further incensed the wrath of the king and 
queen. 

Full of indignation, they arrived at Naples, where they were 
received amidst as sumptuous festivities as the impoverished state 
of the exchequer would admit. The countenances of the king 
and queen were austere, and portentous of approaching severi- 
ties, while the spectators, both those who disliked and those who 
\vere inclined to favour the new doctrines of France, saw no real 
sign of pleasure in these celebrations. The rejoicings were, there- 
fore, confined to the populace, with w^hom the anticipation of 
evil does not often disturb present amusements. After some days 
liad elapsed, consultations on matters of state were held in the 
palace ; and although the councillors were many, their decision 
was unanimous, and agreed with what had been predetermined 
by the queen : w^ar with France and a strict surveillance of their 
Neapolitan subjects. The ministers divided the care for the exe- 
cution of these projects. Additional ships of war were collected, 
and the arsenals supplied with wood, cables, and various metals 
procured both at home and abroad ; cannons were cast, gun car-i 



1791. FERDINAND IV. LSo 

riages manufactured, besides ammunition waggons and camp equi- 
page ; the armouries were increased, and new arms forged day 
and niglit. The firemen were organized into military companies, 
and employed to manufacture powder and rockets ; uniforms, har- 
nesses, and shoes arrived from all parts of the kingdom ; large 
bodies of infantry were raised by conscription upon the feudal pro- 
prietors, and many volunteers offered their services for the levy 
en masse. Even vagabonds were admitted into the army, and 
prisoners were taken from the dungeons and galleys, and converted 
into soldiers; fresh corps of Swiss and Dalmatians accepted the 
pay of Naples, besides foreigners of rank, such as the princes of 
Hesse Philipstadt, of Wiirtemberg, and Saxony, all three of 
royal blood ; priests, friars, and missionaries preached from their 
pulpits, and instilled in the confessionals, hatred against France. 
Thus every art, every faculty of the mind or labour of men's hands, 
as well as their persons, were alike made subservient to this pro- 
ject of war, an object as repugnant to the feelings as foreign to 
the habits of the Neapolitan people. 

The government next provided by open as well as secret mea- 
sures for the internal security of the kingdom. The police appointed 
a commissary in every rione of the city as inspector and judge, 
with subordinate officers and men ; and over all, was placed the 
Chevalier Luigi de Medici, with the ancient title of Regent of the 
Vicaria : he was a young man of a designing yet bold character, 
and ambitious of place and power. Other agents were appointed 
as secret spies over the actions and thoughts of the subjects ; some 
in public places and others in private houses. The queen conducted 
these affi\irs lierself, and held conferences with the spies at midnight 
in a saloon of the palace called " Oscura" (the dark). This degrad- 
ing office was dignified by the name of loyalty, and was not dis- 
dained by magistrates, priests, and nobles, among which last was 
for the first time suspected, Fabrizio Rufi"o, prince of Castelcicala : 
possessed of an independent fortune, he was not tempted to evil 
deeds by want, and the path of ambition was open before him ; but 
it was supposed that his natural depravity induced him to prefer 
this vocation. The clergy, after the disasters which had befallen 
the Church in France, hoped to recover their lost power, by 
becoming props and companions of despotism. The king nomi- 

VOL. I. Q 



186 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1791. 

Tiated men full of ardour and zeal to sixty-two bishoprics which 
happened to fall vacant ; he restored the national education to the 
care of ecclesiastics, and gave tokens to priests and monks of the 
sincerity of his friendship. Philosophers and men of learning 
were more than any class of men exposed to the displeasure of 
the Government, and to the machinations of spies, from the erro- 
neous opinion entertained that the French Revolution was the 
work of philosophy and of books, rather than of necessity and the 
spirit of the age : a mischievous notion, which, as long as it con- 
tinued, and even to the present day, has entailed serious calami- 
ties on the most estimable men, and has deprived the Government 
and the priesthood of the powerful aid of genius. In Sicily the 
works of Filangieri were forbidden and were burnt ; Pagano, 
Cirillo,^ Delfico,^ and Conforti were looked upon with suspicion 
and watched ; the reforms in the state ceased entirely, and those 
already effected were repented of; foreign books and newspapers 
were prohibited ; the coteries of the queen were at an end ; the 
meetings of men of letters forbidden ; and a shelter was even 
refused to French refugees, though hostile to the Revolution, 
because they raised a scandal and caused disquiet by theif* 
accounts of what was passing in France. The whole appearance 
of the city was changed, and universal gloom succeeded the calm- 
ness of repose. 

Public matters having been thus disposed of, the Government 
waited coming events in Europe. England, Holland, and Prussia, 
demanded from Austria the cessation of the war in the East, and 
peace was promised ; while Russia and the Porte, when likewise 
petitioned, allowed their animosity to subside. The Emperor 
Leopold, who was most violent against France, proceeded to Italy, 

* Cirillo, a celebrated botanist and phy- prudence, &c. In 1806, he sat in the Coiin- 
eician, professor of botany at the university cil of State in Naples, under Joseph Bona- 
in Naples, and afterwards professor of me- parte, and composed most of the adminis- 
dicine; born 1754, died on the scaffold trative,finaucial, and judiciary laws planned 
1799. at that time. Most of his life w^as, however, 

* Mekhiore Deljtco, born 1744 at Te- spent in retirement and study, and he con- 
ramo, died 1835 ; the pupil of Antonio Geno- tinned in favour with the Government imder 
vese in philosophy and political economy, both the Bourbon and French kings. He 
he wrote on the importance of the militia, retired to Teramo in 1833, and was %nsited 
on the evils existing in his native province, there by King Francis before his death, 
on the Tavoliere of Puglia, on Roman Juris- which occurred in his ninety-second year. 



17!»l. FERDINAND IV. 187 

from whence, after a secret conference with the ambassadors of 
Louis, he wrote to the king on the 20th May, to be prepared for 
the invasion of France ; which would be entered from Flanders by 
thirty-five thousand Germans, from Alsace by fifteen thousand, by 
as many Swiss on the road through Lyons, by more than as many 
Piedmontese through Dauphine, and by twenty thousand Spaniards 
from the Pyrenees. Prussia would act as the ally of Austria, and 
England remain neutral. A manifesto was prepared by the Bour- 
bons of Naples, Spain, and Parma, and signed by the members of 
the royal family of France who had escaped, intended to demon- 
strate the justice of t^ie war. King Louis was to remain passive, 
awaiting these movements, and ready to assist them, either secretly 
or openly, by the forces at his disposal. But Louis, fearing lest an 
invasion should render the partisans of liberty furious, determined 
on a measure of greater precaution ; to escape from Paris, seek 
shelter at Montmedy, where General Bouille had collected the most 
loyal of the troops, and from thence, his person being in safety, 
attack France by foreign armies, supported by his own troops, the 
refugees and his adherents, whom he believed more numerous and 
strong than they really were. The route, the time, and the signals 
for flight being concerted, the king left the palace in disguise, 
accompanied by the queen, the Princess Elizabeth, and the royal 
children, led by the hand of Madame de Tourzel, who, under the 
assumed name of Madame Korff, pretended to be travelling with 
her children, and that the queen and princess were her female 
attendants, the king her servant, and three of the body-guard 
in disguise, her couriers or menials. At the same time, the king's 
brother, with his wife, fled by another route, and speedy messen- 
gers were sent to foreign sovereigns to inform them of their flight. 
The following morning, the departure of the king was known in 
Paris, and the Assembly, pretending that he had been carried off 
by the enemies of France, decreed that he should be detained ; 
but rejoicing to see themselves delivered from their greatest ob- 
stacle, they desired his escape. Providence, however, ordained a 
better destiny for France ; for foreign and native troops, the weak- 
ness inherent in a new State, the division of parties, and despotism, 
would have probably succeeded in destroying, in a short time, the 
marvellous labours of the past two years, and the hopes of the cen- 



i 



188 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OP NAPLES. 1791. 

tury, and subjected the people of France once again to a tyranny. 
The injuries inflicted by revolutions are delusive, because im- 
mense at the moment ; but they are not so great as they appear, 
as, though violent, they are temporary. 

The Queen and King of Naples were rejoicing in the escape of 
the royal family of France, when they learned by other letters, 
that they had been discovered at Yarennes, and reconducted as 
prisoners to Paris, where they were guarded by soldiers. The sove- 
reigns, leagued together for the invasion of France, did not however 
resign their hopes ; the Emperor Leopold, the King of Prussia, the 
Elector of Saxony, and the Count d'Artois, met at Pilnitz, and 
published an edict in the name of the two first, which ran thus : — 
" Social order being completely subverted in France, the monarchy 
insulted and the king a prisoner, it becomes imperative on sove- 
reigns to restore the peace of that kingdom and the liberty of the 
prince ; numerous corps of Prussian and Austrian troops are col- 
lected in an army, and they invite other kings of the earth to join 
in the enterprise, to secure the safety of their own kingdoms, and 
vindicate the dignity of the crown." Gustavus iii., king of Sweden, 
burning with indignation, and covetous of glory, declared himself 
ready and eager to accept the challenge, and impatient of delay. 
The new statute for France had been completed in September 1791, 
and the king, now set at liberty, went to the Assembly, greeted by 
the shouts of the populace as in times of prosperity ; the powers he 
received by the statute restored him to his royal state, after the 
ignominy of being detained prisoner ; trusting to time, therefore, 
for better things, as well as to the fickle temper of the French 
people, and to a new assembly, he stopped the movements of the 
foreign armies. Just as the republican party were increasing so 
rapidly as to alarm even the most ardent friends of freedom in the 
constituent assembly, the Count de Mirabeau died in the vigour of 
his age and intellect. With views as favourable to liberty as were 
compatible with the times, he had perceived the violence of the 
Jacobins, and united himself with the king to oppose the project 
of a republic, unsuitable to a people long inured to servitude, and 
who had neither the vigour of a young nation, nor the wisdom of 
mature civilisation. But Mirabeau, who understood human nature 
well, and comprehended the spirit of the age, and who desired all 



1791. FERDINAND IV. 189 

possible liberty for France, was now dead ; and the ambition of the 
people for power awakened by two years of revolution, and which 
the Legislative Assembly was unable to contain, vented itself in 
clubs, and principally in that of the Jacobins, where all manner of 
political questions were discussed : elections, division by provinces, 
the office of president, besides other offices, the tribune, deci- 
sion by vote, publicity. Nothing but the authority of law was 
wanting to impart to these meetings the force of a representative 
assembly ; but they compensated for this defect by their numbers, 
violence, and the approbation of the people. The Jacobins voted 
for a popular form o^ government, and the other clubs were not 
far behind-hand in their wishes; while the Legislative Assembly, 
a king who had been so often vanquished, and a new statute 
which had not yet been established, were but feeble barriers to 
the accomplishment of their desires. 

In reply to the circulars of Louis, containing his consent to the 
new statute of France, the king of Naples declared he would sus- 
pend his belief until the king was free, and the rest of the Euro- 
pean monarchs answered in the same tenor, though varied in ex- 
pression according to their different interests and policy. The king 
of Piedmont alone, terrified by so near a conflagration, and his 
foolish expectation of conquering France already turned to fear, 
proposed an Italian league to the princes of Italy, to prevent the 
entrance of French soldiers and revolutionary doctrines. All 
acceded, except Venice and the Imperial States of Lombardy, as 
the House of Austria was more afraid of a united Italy than of 
revolutionized France. This prevented the proposal taking effect, 
and each separate Italian state trusted for safety to its own wisdom, 
or rather to chance. Meantime, the Emperor Leopold, who by 
nature was averse to war, and had only taken up arms in the first 
burst of indignation, being in reality more inclined than any king, 
or rather alone among kings, in his desire to promote the welfare 
of his people, sent back to their former quarters the army he had 
assembled. The Empress of Russia, at peace with the Ottoman 
Porte, had no intention to commence another war. Prussia was 
silenced ; Spain supine like her monarch, and England at peace ; 
therefore the rage of the Queen of Naples, and the warlike im- 
pulses of King Gustavus, were powerless against France. Tlie 



190 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1791. 

French people miglit perhaps have been able to cope with repub- 
lican opinions, and have established a settled government, had 
they not been disturbed by two political factions, more fierce even 
than Jacobinism, — the refugees and the clergy. The former (whom 
I shall call emigrants, adopting the name while relating the events 
of French history) were assembled in great numbers and in warlike 
array on the two frontiers of the Rhine and of Piedmont, and 
threatened the safety of the kingdom. The majority composed of 
nobles, not true citizens of France nor faithful servants of the 
king, and neither warriors nor brave men, but thirsting for pri- 
vilege and favour, had fled from the new order of civil equality, 
and, under the ill-assumed name of loyalty, sighed for the return 
of a prodigal and despotic monarchy. The first emigration took 
the country by surprise, and was tolerated ; but when their num- 
bers increased so as to form two armies supplied with arms and 
money, led by skilful officers and princes of the blood-royal, the 
legislative assembly became alarmed and indignant, and invited 
tliem to return home. The property of the contumacious was 
taxed, and they were threatened with personal punishment ; but 
invitations and threats proved fruitless, and they continued hover- 
ing on the frontiers, ready to commence a conflagration, which they 
hoped would spread throughout France. They misrepresented the 
most patriotic intentions, excited foreign potentates to war, and 
endangered the life of the king, whose name they used as an 
honourable pretext to cover their infamous practices. The clergy 
were divided between those who objected to take the oath to the 
statute, and those who accepted it ; the majority belonged to the 
first, and were the most untainted of their order. The church 
lands were first sequestrated, then confiscated. Two briefs from 
Rome and the Pope's effigy were burnt in mockery, and priests 
were insulted and injured ; while they, on their side, went about 
rousing the consciences of believers, and urging them to arm. 
Louis adhered to the emigrants because he was a king, and to the 
priests because he was devout. 

Such was the state of Europe in the year 1791. In the begin- 
ning of the ensuing year, the Emperor Leopold died, and was suc- 
ceeded by his son Francis. In the same month died Gustavus iii., 
king of Sweden, murdered by his nobles ; but as the authors of 



1792. FERDINAND IV. 191 

this conspiracy were undiscovered, the act was imputed to the 
Jacobins. The death of Leopold was lamented, while suspicion 
followed that of Gustavus ; and the world was reminded of the 
Frencli club, the propaganda, and the legion of tyrant- slayers, as 
well as of a saying in the Assembly, " To the king who shall send 
us war, we shall send liberty ;" with other actions or words por- 
tending destruction to princes. The police in Naples, therefore, 
increased their vigilance ; and in order to improve the system of 
espionage, the names of the streets and numbers of the houses 
were inscribed in marble tablets, at all times a useful regulation 
in a large city. Ten thousand condemned persons, and twelve 
thousand prisoners in the dungeons of Naples and Castellamare, 
causing some alarm, a great number were removed to the penal 
islands of Lampedusa and Tremiti. The new regent of the Vicaria 
made a profit out of the cast-off clothes and deposits of money left 
by those condemned to the galleys, whose guilt was proved upon 
the information of spies, the inquisitorial researches of the scriva?ii, 
and the sentence of the regent himself At first, only the lowest 
of the populace, men of infamous character, or felons, sufiered this 
punishment ; until the people, having become accustomed to the 
sight, and submissive to the exercise of despotic power, had learned 
to tolerate it with patience, when the police did not fear to use 
equal license in the punishment of innocent persons. Real crime 
was the consequence of suspicion where offences did not exist. 
Those very Neapolitans, admirers of the French theories, who had 
been sliortly before consulted for their wisdom on the reforms in 
the State, were now watched and suspected, and therefore met in 
secret to discuss the events in France ; not, indeed, from any hope 
of near or immediate benefit, but as an exercise of reason, and to 
enjoy an ideal bliss in the future ; but for this innocent amuse- 
ment they were obliged to use the duplicity and mystery of crime. 
Delighted with the French statute of 1791, and with the declara- 
tion of the rights of man, besides all the philosophical sentiments 
which adorned that charter where the universal desire for equality 
before the laws is distinctly laid down, they ordered a printer, in 
whom they could confide, to prepare upwards of two thousand 
copies, with fresh types, at a great expense. They did not, how- 
ever, proceed further, for fear succeeding boldness, they only dis- 



192 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1792. 

tributed a few copies by night in the streets of the city ; while in a 
spirit of youthful defiance, they dropped two in the apartments of 
the queen ; but the greater number were concealed in sacks of 
flour, and thrown into the sea among tlie rocks of Chiatamone. 
Two young nobles, attired as porters, took the sacks on their backs 
just after sunset (to avoid daylight and the night watch), and 
passing through the most populous parts of the city, carried them 
out of Naples, and deposited them in the place designated. They 
were applauded by their comrades as if they had saved the Repub- 
lic ; but, meanwhile, their audacity, and the printing of these 
papers, increased the rage and suspicion of the rulers. Such were 
the first sparks of that civil conflagration which has never since 
been extinguislied. 

The affairs of France becoming worse through the evil agency 
of the emigrants, clergy, and Jacobins, political parties, the posi- 
tion of the king and the people became more desperate. Men of 
great energy had arisen in the midst of these civil convulsions, but 
discord had torn asunder the elements of force in the State. 
Dumouriez, exhausted by opposition, resigned the office of mini- 
ster, by an act of easy but ignoble virtue. La Fayette, a soldier 
of liberty and a French chevalier, was stopped midway in his career, 
when, after the tumults of the 20th June, he came to Paris, in- 
tending to save the monarchy ; while Bailly, Condorcet, and other 
virtuous men, continued in the track of the doctrinaires, then 
feebly supported. Pethion and many others capable of rousing, 
were impotent to direct the rage of the people. The king was 
patient rather than intrepid, possessed of passive virtues, high- 
minded but indolent ; and the queen thoughtless and petulant, was 
agitated by the desire for vengeance. Law, the throne, the people, 
religion, words once revered as sacred, had not wholly lost their 
ancient prestige, but the man was wanting who could fit them to 
the temper of the times ; for Mirabeau was dead, and Bonaparte 
had not yet appeared upon the stage. Hence arose calamities 
and errors. The king, suspicious of poison, ate in private with his 
family such simple food as he could trust, and for many months 
endured the greatest hardships. Meantime he sent secretly to the 
camps of the emigrants, and to the sovereigns of Austria and 
Prussia, to solicit the aid of their armies for his liberation. War 



I 



1:92. FERDINAND IV. ' 193 

was then declared against France. The Prussian and Austrian 
armies approaclied ; and the queen, measuring the road they liad 
to traverse, foretold the day of their arrival in Paris with ill- 
concealed joy. 

Changes and perils in the city and the royal palace were con- 
stantly occurring, and of various kinds, followed by lassitude and 
waste of time and thought. La Fayette repeated his oiFer to save 
the king by flight ; and Marshal Luckner, a foreigner in the French 
service, came to Paris on the part of the enemy, to secure his 
escape. But the royal family were obstinate ; the queen declared 
she preferred death to the shame of living under an obligation to 
the constitutionalist, La Fayette ; and the king yielding to her 
desire, rudely rejected the proffered kindness. Their pride, per- 
haps, saved the life, and certainly the reputation, of the general ; 
for such were the circumstances of the time, that France or the 
monarchy must have fallen. Amidst these conflicting passions, 
the edict of the Prussian Brunswick appeared, which, while pro- 
testing against the moderate tone of the manifesto formerly issued 
by the sovereigns, designated all France as a faction, and asserted 
that the king alone had the wisdom to devise, and the lawful power 
to concede reforms in the State ; he abrogated all the acts of 
the three past years, and insisted, as if secure of victory, that 
the revolutionary armies should be disbanded, the assemblies and 
clubs dissolved ; that the Austrians and Prussians should be re- 
ceived as friends, and he called on the adherents of the king to join 
them, and his enemies to fly, or sue for pardon. Meanwhile, nume- 
rous troops of emigrants, the last in the field though the first in 
their expressions of indignation, and the instigators of a civil and 
sanguinary war, were following in the rear of the German columns. 
This edict, which, though the terms of his demand had been ex- 
ceeded, was nevertheless grateful to the king, who saw the perils 
threatening his dynasty, drove the people to desperation. Some 
dreaded the royal vengeance, others despaired of forgiveness, others 
again mourned the fate of their country, and all were thrown into 
alarm and excitement. Some again, more discerning and bold 
spirits, rested their hope of safety in reducing all passions into 
one, and guiding the popular impulses in one direction, and there- 
fore held up as a rallying-point their common hatred of the king. 

VOL. I. B 



19 if HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1792. 

It is unnecessary, in a history of Naples, to give an account of all 
that passed in France ; and it is therefore here sufficient to remind 
the reader, that on the 10th August 1792, the king was attacked in 
his palace, which was taken and burned by battalions of the people; 
that with his wife, children, and sister, he escaped in haste to the 
Legislative Assembly, where they remained in concealment in a 
miserable room, from whence they heard the decree read, which 
declared Louis fallen from his throne. The world beheld in wonder 
the palace of the kings of France besieged and taken, not by ene- 
mies in war, but by subjects, who, rising in a transport of fury, 
and in the name of liberty, burned the escutcheons and effigies of a 
race of powerful and venerated kings. Amidst the conflagration 
Louis escaped, followed by the queen, with the little dauphin in her 
arms, while the Princess Elizabeth carried his young and tender 
daughter ; they were without an escort, and their heads bowed with 
sorrow, or from their anxiety to hide their tears. The royal family 
were conveyed prisoners to the Luxembourg, and thence to the Tem- 
ple, and the State being without a fixed government was ruled by 
factions. General La Fayette, declared an eneni}^ of liis country for 
having resisted the first impulses of unbridled liberty, was refused 
obedience by the troops, and escaped into Belgium, where he was 
thrown into prison by the Austrians. Others who had supported 
the first ideas of the Revolution fell under suspicion, and, menaced 
with death, fled their country ; for to them had succeeded Danton, 
Marat, Robespierre, and other such maniacs, who in civil commo- 
tions spring from the dregs of the people. Dumouriez returned to 
favour, because the enemy of the people's enemy, La Fayette ; he 
was placed at the head of the French army, which numbered a 
hundred and twenty thousand soldiers distributed along the fron- 
tiers, but wdio, with their confidence in their leaders weakened, 
were insubordinate and stubborn, and were opposed to a hundred 
and thirty-two thousand Germans. Fortune smiled on the Ger- 
man arms. The fortress of Longwy, and soon afterwards Verdun, 
fell into their hands. The Austrian army laid siege to the for- 
tresses in tlie north ; while sixty thousand Prussians, and crowds 
of emigrants, were marching upon Paris. Amidst the agitation 
caused by the approach of the enemy, and the fears and suspicions 
of the people, many and dreadful were the atrocities perpetrated in 



I 



l.;rJ. FERDINAN-D IV. 19.5 

France. The unliappy family of the Bourbons confined in the 
Temple witnessed part of the slaughter ; they heard the dying 
groans of those massacred in the adjoining prisons, and their last 
ray of hope was foreign succour. But Brunswick was heavy and 
slow in his movements, his king impatient, the emigrants false 
to their promises, and the allied sovereigns differed in policy and 
views ; the result was, discord and inaction in the German camp ; 
while in the French camp, the genius of Dumouriez, the youthful 
ardour of his troops, and the cheering influence of liberty, compen- 
sated for defective numbers and want of success. The Prussians, 
however, reached Chacons ; but there, disheartened by disease, by 
their defeat at the battle of Valmy, and by the inclement season, 
they relieved France from their presence. The rest of the Austrian 
and Prussian troops, engaged on various parts of the frontier, has- 
tened their retreat. Francis and Frederic-William, with altered 
plans, returned to Vienna and Berlin. The first league against 
France was dissolved, and the progress of the Revolution secured. 
The last hope of the unhappy family had fallen. The Jacobins, 
now all-powerful, prepared for the trial of Louis. Ancient respect 
for their kings, the virtues of the present sovereign, and his calm 
demeanour, which appeared like a serene conscience, pleaded in 
his favour. His actions, and the name of king, were his accusers. 
Disorder reigned in the discussion, legal justice was set aside, and 
the rank of the accused forgotten ; such was the climax to which 
matters had arrived, that the king's life or death hung on the 
question, "Which would be most advantageous to France?'' It 
was decided by the majority of a single vote that his death would 
be of greatest service, and Louis lost his life on a scaffold. The 
deaths of the queen and that of the Princess Elizabeth followed, 
both of them condemned by the iniquitous sentences of a ferocious 
tribunal. The dauphin perished from want in the dungeon, and 
his sister was exchanged as a ransom for some French prisoners in 
Germany. Upon the arrival of these dreadful news, the Court of 
Naples forbade every public or private celebration of the Carnival ; 
and after many days spent in grief, the royal family went in 
mourning to the cathedral, to weep and pray for the dead ; even 
the king followed the chase less frequently, and in private. France, 
meantime, was organized as a republic, but the sovereigns of 



196 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1792. 

Naples refused to acknowledge the citizen Makau, who came thither 
as ambassador, and even interfered to prevent the Ottoman Court 
from accepting the citizen Seraonville in a similar capacity. 

Further, the king communicated a note to the governments of 
Sardinia and Venice to this effect : — " Whatever may be the for- 
tunes of the Germans on the Rhine, it is important for Italy to 
form an armed barrier upon the Alps, to prevent the French, if 
conquered, turning upon us in desj)eration or revenge ; or, if suc- 
cessful, attacking us from the love of conquest, and disturbing the 
peace of the Italian Governments. If the Sicilies, Sardinia, and 
Venice, were to form a league for mutual defence, the most high 
pontiff would concur in the holy enterprise, and lesser potentates, 
wliose states are intermediate, voluntarily or on compulsion, will 
follow the move ; thus a force wall be assembled capable of defend- 
ing Italy, and giving her weight and authority in the wars and 
congresses of Europe. This note is intended to propose and form 
a confederation, in which the king of the Sicilies, the last exposed 
to danger, offers himself as the first in the struggle, and reminds 
every Italian prince, that the hope of escaping singly has ever 
been the ruin of Italy." This wise and courageous proposal had been 
accepted by the king of Sardinia, though refused by the Senate 
of Venice, when the king of the Sicilies suddenly withdrew ; for, 
in the interval, a large French fleet, with sails spread and colours 
flying, had anchored in the Bay of Naples. The Government, in- 
formed that several men-of-war belonging to the Kepublic were 
sailing in the Tyrrhenean Sea, had already repaired the ancient 
strand batteries, constructed new, and provided the port more 
amply with arms and men. Meantime Admiral La Touche led 
his fleet of fourteen men-of-war into the Bay of Naples as into a 
friendly or unarmed port ; he dropped the anchors of the larger 
vessel within half a gun-shot from the Castel delF Uovo, and 
anchored the other vessels drawn up in line of battle across the 
port. An immense crowd w^ere assembled to witness the spectacle, 
and the Neapolitan soldiers and fleet w^ere on the eve of an engage- 
ment, when the king sent to the admiral to demand the cause of 
his arrival, and of these demonstrations, and to remind him of 
the ancient treaty by which only six raen-of-w^ar were permitted 
to enter the port. La Touche replied by sending a messenger of 



J 



1793. FERDINAND IV. 197 

high rank (as he was honoured in his passage by continual salutes 
from the fleet), who, in writing and by word of mouth, asked the 
reason tlie king had refused to receive their ambassador, and why 
lie had acted as the enemy of France with the Sultan ? He further 
demanded reparation for these offences, or war. 

The king called a council, and although the preparations for re- 
sistance were superior to the force of the enemy, and would have 
obliged La Touche either to make his escape, or submit to de- 
feat, the queen, declaring the kingdom to be full of Jacobins, 
entreated for peace, and was seconded by the terrified members 
of the Council. The 'king accordingly granted their request, and 
immediately by word and letters signified his acceptation of the 
minister Makau, his disapprobation of the practices which had 
been carried on with the Porte, recalled the Neapolitan ambassador 
at that Court to receive punishment, sent an ambassador to Paris, 
promised neutrality in the wars of Europe, and consented to a 
reconciliation with France. That day the first act of cowardice 
was committed, suggested by groundless fears. La Touche imme- 
diately weighed anchor, but, overtaken by a tempest, he again 
sought shelter in the Bay of Naples, where he asked leave to re- 
store his battered ships, to renew his supply of water, to take in 
fresh provisions, and to mancKuvre in the port — requests which 
might be expected from an ally, but were displeasing to the Govern- 
ment of Naples, though they could not be refused. Many of the 
Neapolitan youth, enthusiastic for the new doctrines, held com- 
munications with the officers of the fleet, with Makau and La 
Touche ; and, as at that time it was the policy of the French 
Government to incite the people to liberty, and thus associate 
them in their dangers and struggles, the admiral inflamed their 
youthful minds still more, and advised them to hold secret meet- 
ings. It happened that, at a supper given on this occasion, amidst 
the intoxication of hopes and wishes, the Neapolitans hung at 
their breasts a little red cap, at that time the symbol of the Jaco- 
bins in France. The Government of Naples was informed of these 
offences, but delayed punishment until the departure of their un- 
welcome guests. They hurried on the repair of their vessels, sup- 
plied them with provisions, and ordered the purest water of the 
Carmignano to be sent to the fleet, and conveyed as far as the end 
of the mole. 



198 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1793. 

The French weighed anchor, and the rage which had been pent 
up, now burst forth in present acts of vengeance, and preparations 
for more. Many of those who had hekl intercourse with the French, 
and others accused of treason, were seized in the night and con- 
veyed to prison; their fate was kept secret, so that it w^as com- 
monly reported, and believed by their relatives and friends, that 
they had been murdered in the lowest dungeons of the fortresses, 
or sent into distant castles in the island of Sicily ; it was only 
afterwards known that they had been placed in solitary confine- 
ment in the subterranean dungeons of Sant' Elmo, living on 
prison fare, sleeping on the bare ground, each in a separate 
cell. They were all of them nobles or men of learning, accus- 
tomed to the luxuries usual in their station, or to the tran- 
quillity of a life of study. These ferocious orders were executed 
with most ferocious zeal by inhuman men, whose names will 
appear in the course of this history. The queen, suspecting 
that the French ambassador might have a list of the num- 
bers and names of the supposed conspirators, craiscd his papers 
to be stolen by one Luigi Custode, who was in her pay in the 
house of Makau. Accused of this theft, and brought to trial, 
he was acquitted by the judges, and rewarded by the Court. 
Neither names nor proofs of a conspiracy were found among the 
papers, and nothing was produced but a note of the failure of the 
promised neutrality on the part of the Neapolitan Government. 
The king nevertheless instituted a tribunal for the trial of persons 
accused of treason, called the Junta of State, and composed ol 
seven judges and a procurator-fiscal, Basilio Palmieri, notorious 
for his rigorous dealings ; the judges were the Chevalier de Medici, 
the Marquis Vanni, and the president of the court, Giaquinto, 
who all of them afterwards attained celebrity for the iniquitous 
deeds they sanctioned or committed. The prisons were increased 
in number, the Junta and the police secretly arranged the proces,^ 
and the whole city was in terror. 

The queen now meditated a greater and more generous revenge 
on France, by a declaration of war. The measures already taken 

1 Fj'oresso, or Proces, a term winch has all giver, in writing ; everything, in short, 
no English equivalent, as it includes the except the final sentence, 
inquiry, accusation, defence, and pleadings, 



1793. FERDINAND IV. 199 

had increased the recruits for the army to thirty-six thousand, 
and the fleet numbered a hundred and two vessels of various 
dimensions, carrying six hundred and eighteen cannon, and manned 
by crews of eight thousand six hundred seamen. The labour at 
the armories and arsenals was unceasing ; the new levies were 
continued and even facilitated by the famine, which was little less 
severe in 1793 than it had been in 1764, nor were the measures of 
prevention in any way improved. Time and experience fail to 
teach rulers the wisdom of devising other means to obtain their 
ends besides those of force and authority ; private advantage and 
free trade can alone extinguish monopolies, bring plenty into the 
markets, and tranquillize the minds of the people, who, when ex- 
cited by their fears, lay waste the land, empty the granaries, and 
reduce themselves from abundance to destitution. Amidst the diffi- 
culties in procuring provisions, the most wretched of the populace 
enlisted in the army, most of them from the metropolis, where living 
is expensive, owing to luxury and vice. A new legion was therefore 
raised in Naples, called the Spent ooneers, from the weapon, the spon- 
toon,^ carried by the soldiers, and intended for use in inaccessible 
places, either where the ground was covered with wood, or behind 
embankments, or when the men were formed in squares, against 
horse, or for a charge, as with the bayonet ; the scarcity of muskets 
and the ignorance of military leaders suggestedtheuseof this weapon, 
so ill suited to modern warfare. The spontooneers were either raised 
by conscription, or were volunteers enlisted by decree from among 
the Lazzaroni. The term Lazzaro ^ was first introduced under the 
Spanish viceroys, when the Government was rapacious, when the 
feudal lords had resigned the use of arms, when their vassals were 
averse to war, and the inhabitants of the city degraded by domes- 
tic servitude, when soldiers were scarce, or removed to a distance, 
artisans or workmen still fewer, and when there were no agricul- 
turists, and an immense population sought subsistence by crime. 
Among these vast numbers of degraded human beings, many lived 
like cattle, half clothed and houseless, sleeping in cellars during 
the winter, and, from the mild climate, in the open air in sum- 

' Spontoon. A short pike, usetl in an- ' Lnzzaro, or Lazzarone, a Spanish word, 

cient warfare. signifying a man in deslitution and rags, 

or a leper. 



200 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1793. 

mer. They were called Lazzari or Lazzaroni, an epithet taken 
from the language of their haughty rulers, who, having caused our 
misery, turned it into derision, and immortalized it by a name. 
No man was born a Lazzaro ; the Lazzaro who turned to any art 
or trade lost the name, and whosoever lived the animal life I have 
described became one. They were only to be found in the metro- 
polis, and here, though numerous, they were not included in the 
census with the rest of the population, as their savage and vagrant 
life prevented the possibility of taking any account of them. They 
were supposed to be about thirty thousand, poor, impudent, greedy, 
insatiable in plunder, and ready to join in any riot. The viceroy, in 
his edicts, was accustomed to call the Lazzaroni by the lionourable 
name of people ; he listened to their complaints, and the demands 
laid before him by their orators, who were deputed to speak with 
him in the palace. They were permitted on a feast-day in every 
year to elect their chief by acclamation in the market-place ; with 
this chief the viceroy held conferences, at one time pretending a 
desire to settle with him about the tribute levied on goods brought 
to market, at another pledging the Lazzaroni to support the autho- 
rity of the Government. The celebrated Tommaso Aniello was 
chief of the Lazzaroni when, in the year 1647, the city broke 
into open rebellion. By disciplining several thousand of these low 
fellows, the legion of the spontooneers added to the security of 
the public peace, while increasing the numbers of the army. 

Having thus placed the kingdom in a state of preparation for 
war, the king next proposed to form an alliance with England, 
already the enemy of France ; and on the 20th July of that year, 
1793, entered into a secret compact (as the treaty of neutrality 
just concluded with La Touche still continued), by which the King 
of Naples was to send four men of war, four frigates, and four 
lesser vessels, with six thousand soldiers, to join an equal num- 
ber of vessels and soldiers from England, in the Mediterranean, 
and thus together form a fleet superior to that of the enemy, 
secure the dominion of the sea, and protect the commerce of the 
Two Sicilies. The powers leagued in war with Great Britain con- 
sented to this treaty, and Naples found herself included in the 
vast and interminable European confederations against France. 
In the midst of all these naval forces, light skiffs from Barbary 



170:{. FERDINAND IV. 201 

boldly navigating our seas, devastated our shores, seized on barks, 
and did much injury to commerce ; the captains of merchant ves- 
sels asked leave to carry arms, but the Government, who saw in 
every association a club of rebels, were afraid to provide them 
with the means of defence, and refused this advantageous oifer. 
The Tunisians therefore continued their depredations, even in 
the vicinity of Procida. 



!02 HISTOEY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1793. 



CHAPTER II. 

WAR WITH FRANCE — PEACE — VIOLATION OF TREATIES — INDICTMENTS 

FOR TREASON. 

1793—1798. 

The league with England was hardly concluded, before action 
commenced. Toulon, a French city and fortress, with arsenals, 
well-filled magazines, twenty men-of-war at anchor in the port, 
timber and materials for the construction of as many more, a large 
supply of heavy artillery, and plenty of arms, treasure, and men, 
was surrendered by treachery to the English, whose fleet was 
cruizing along the great roadstead. This occurred on the 24tli 
August of the year 1793 ; and immediately Spaniards, Sardinians, 
and Neapolitans, with the contingent in men and ships promised 
by the treaty, hastened to assist in the spoil. The citizen Makau, 
as the representative of a powerful enemy, was ordered to quit 
Naples ; he saw the fleet weigh anchor for Toulon, without a de- 
claration of war or challenge sent to the Republic, and, indignant 
at the sight, started for France. He was accompanied by two 
ladies, of the name of Basville, who excited the commiseration and 
desire for revenge in the French people, by their grief for the loss 
of a father and husband, Ugo Basville, of whom they had been 
cruelly deprived by the hands of the people of Rome. Meanwhile, 
the Neapolitan forces set sail for Toulon, under the conduct of 
Marshal Fortiguerra, and of General de Gambs and Pignatelli ; 
arrived at their destination, they were placed under the Spanisli 
general, O'Hara, commander-in-chief during that campaign. The 
soldiers of the Republic hastened thither from all parts of France, 
while, on the other side, the stores and works of the fortress were 
increased. The allied troops served in rotation, and the Neapoli- 



-):l. FERDINAND IV. 203 

tans, who were not behind the rest, had the good fortune to dis- 
tinguish themselves upon Mont Faraon, and in the defence of 
Malbousquette. They had occupied the city four months, yet, 
althougli there were perpetual skirmishings, the siege appeared 
hardly commenced in good earnest, when, on the 1 7th December, 
the batteries were unmasked from circumvallation to circumvalla- 
tion, and the attack began ; the firing was most brisk and obstinate 
at the fort called Le Cairo, which was protected by breastworks 
and cannon, and the English, who believed it impregnable, called 
it the second Gibraltar. But Napoleon Bonaparte, who was then 
making his first essay /in arms as lieutenant-colonel and commander 
of the artillery in the siege, had so arranged the attacks that eight 
thousand shells fell in rapid succession within the area of the fort, 
and the works were destroyed or levelled to the ground by the shot 
from thirty twenty-pounders. In less than two days, or rather in 
the night of the 18th and 19th December, their boasted Gibraltar 
was taken, and the artillery which guarded it from the French, 
was turned against the allies. 

As the fort of Le Cairo projects into the sea, so as to skirt the 
lesser roadstead of Toulon, with a considerable part of the larger 
roadstead, and the canal which lies between the two, the allies 
were forced to remove their shipping from these w^aters, and to 
withdraw the soldiers into the city, in order not to expose them to 
certain capture. The English Admiral Hood hoisted the signal of 
retreat, the land troops took to flight, and the exterior forts of 
Malbousquette, Le Faraon, La Vallette, and La Malgue, which had 
been taken by the Republicans without a struggle, added to the 
danger and confusion, by firing on the city. The English blew up 
Fort Pone by mines, but time and means were wanting for the 
destruction of the other forts, or the city ; the great magazine 
for the manufacture of powder caught fire, and thirteen vessels 
of the Republic were burned in the port ; it was night, and it 
rained heavily. In the midst of this scene of desolation the 
soldiers embarked (some of them being drowned in the liurry of 
departure), accompanied by such of the inhabitants of Toulon who, 
as partisans of England, or enemies of the Republic, were impli- 
cated in the plot by which the place had been betrayed to the 
allies. Horses, arms, tents, field-pieces, and some of the troops 



20 i HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1794. 

who had been dilatory in their movements, or were incapacitated 
from wounds, fell a prey to the arms of the Republic. A violent 
tempest arose from the south, which caught the ships in the road- 
steads, and the fleet only escaped the peril to which it was exposed, 
by the skill of the officers ; while scattered in all directions, they 
were driven about for many days as chance directed, and sought 
shelter in different ports, distant from one another, and without 
the means of communication. Much time was lost collecting the 
men, im])lements, and baggage of the four nations, and meanwhile 
Naples was afflicted more even than the case warranted, as is 
usual where there is an indistinct report of some disaster having 
occurred. At last, on the 2d February 1794, the looked-for sails 
appeared, and it was then ascertained that two hundred Neapoli- 
tans were missing, dead, or wounded, and four hundred, with all 
the horses, had been taken prisoners ; besides the loss of provi- 
sions, tents, arms, and standards, which had cost the treasury 
untold sums. Among the natives of Toulon who arrived at Naples, 
was General Count Maudet, who, when in command at Toulon, 
had voluntarily yielded the fortress committed to his charge, to 
the enemies of his country. These events raised the reputation of 
the Republic, while a name was mentioned for the first time, 
though without attracting much notice, which was soon after- 
wards destined to fill the world. 

Those who arrived from Toulon, while relating or exaggerating 
facts, whether true or false, produced an alarming impression of 
the French power and of the war. The government stopped the 
gay celebrations of the carnival, and ordered prayers to be offered 
up in the churches, while, true to their promises and hopes of 
vengeance, they raised new conscripts and civic guards in the 
city, and encamped twenty battalions of infantry and thirteen 
squadrons of cavalry, with a train of artillery in the plain of Sessa, 
destined to assist the German armies in Lombardy. The people 
admired the piety of their sovereigns, and the soldiers their acts 
of seeming courage. The king, the queen, and the minister, 
General Acton, were often at the camp, exciting the men by their 
words, and promising them large rewards for valour, whilst the 
manoeuvres of the shipping, and sham sea-fights, were wit- 
nessed in the Bay of Naples. England proposing to attack 



irm. FERDINAND IV. 205 

Corsica, asked and received from us ships, arms, and soldiers, and 
although the enterprise proved a failure, the attempt was highly 
spoken of. Three regiments of cavalry with two thousand horse 
set out for Lombardy, under the Prince di Cuto, a choice which 
met with general approbation, because he was a native Neapolitan, 
whereas former expeditions, all of which had been unsuccessful, 
had been commanded by foreigners. We possessed a hundred and 
forty gunboats or bombketches, forty larger vessels, forty-two 
thousand troops of the line, and a militia composed of still greater 
numbers, while there was an abundant supply of stores. But 
such vast efforts, and continuing for so long a period, exceeded the 
means at the disposal'of the ports and the allowance for the navy, 
as well as being disproportioned to the political condition of the 
kingdom ; and helped to embarrass the exchequer, proving detri- 
mental to arts and industry, and reducing w^hole families to penury. 
It appeared a miracle how so many expenses could be sustained, 
but it was explained by the assistance said to be afforded from the 
privy purse, which necessity and the resentment of the king had 
unclasped. In order to confirm the rumour, the queen assured those 
in whom she placed her confidence, and who publicly repeated her 
words, that she had sold or pawned her jewels, and that on gala 
days in the palace she appeared adorned by their counterfeits. 

These tales were still circulating among the people, when the 
government by a new decree demanded subsidies or donations, 
which, as they were to be applied for the benefit of the nation, 
were called patriotic ; every community and congregation, and 
many private individuals, gave largely, and their names were 
recorded to their honour, and to excite emulation in others. A 
tax of ten per cent, (and therefore called a tithe) was imposed by 
another decree upon the predial revenues, but with the exclusion 
of farmers on the royal domains, exchequer lands, and fiefs ; the 
lands of the Church were subjected to the tax, and as, by the 
Concordat of 1741, the clergy only paid one-half upon the taxes 
which existed prior to that date, the last of their immunities was 
now abolished, and they were placed on a level with the Com- 
mons ; though, to render this less obnoxious, the taxes levied 
upon ecclesiastics were called a loan, and inscribed in a separate 
book. By other decrees, a large amount of the church pro- 



206 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 17S4. 

perty was sold for the benefit of the exchequer, and other property 
called allodium/ was set up for sale. One hundred and three 
thousand ducats monthly were imposed on the city of Naples 
alone, and a hundred and twenty thousand on the barons. After 
which the king issued an edict, declaring, " Whatever else shall 
be needed for the defence of the kingdom and the maintenance of 
tranquillity, shall be supplied from the assignments or surplus 
revenue of my house.'' The new taxes were burdensome, but as 
the object was great, the expense necessary, and the promises of 
the king liberal, no murmurs were heard ; and they only served 
to strenQ:then the hatred ao-ainst the French as the cause of these 
exactions. That same year, another royal decree commanded that 
churches, monasteries, and charitable institutions, should resign 
all their consecrated plate to the royal mint, except so much as 
was necessary for the performance of the divine ordinances ; and 
that the citizens likewise should deliver over their plate, except 
the small quantity needed for use ; to receive in return bank cer- 
tificates, payable in a few years. Buried treasure was declared 
confiscated, and a fourth part awarded to the discoverer. This 
decree was called sumptuary, a word often applied to laws which 
increase the wealth of the treasury by imposing economy on the 
subject. Money was however given with liberality, the donors 
submitting to the decree in silence. 

But this tacit acquiescence was converted into loud remon- 
strances when the people became aware that the government was 
robbing the national banks ; the name given to seven Gaisses de 
Credit, which had become possessed of a capital of thirteen millions 
of ducats, by endowments, bequests, and commercial enterprise; 
public offices, private individuals, and the royal family themselves 
were in the habit of placing their money in these banks, which 
they believed secure, because guarded and guaranteed. A paper 
called a promissory note certified the deposit ; the presentation of 
the notes produced immediate payment, and they circulated like 
cash, while far from losing in discount, they were at a premium 
when the commerce of the kingdom was most flourishing, from the 

^ In the law of England we have not estates of the subject as are not holden of 
properly allodiuna, which is the name by any superior. — Blackstone's Commentaries 
which the feudists abroad distinguish such on the Laws of Enyland, vol. ii. p. 60. 



iroi. FERDINAND IV. 207 

convenience and safety of carrying large sums in the compass of a 
small piece of paper. Money paid into court or in chancery was 
placed in the banks ; bequests were paid in bank paper ; much of 
the money of the kingdom, almost all belonging to the city, and 
at least twenty-four millions, the property of private individuals, 
was deposited in their coffers. But state necessity, the instincts of 
despotism, the ease with which the money could be obtained, while 
the theft could be concealed by fabricating fresh paper, and the hope 
of replacing the missing sum before it could be discovered ; finally, 
the belief entertained by all absolute monarchs that the property 
as w^ell as lives of their subjects belongs to them, were reasons 
enough for extending a rapacious hand towards these deposits. 
The spoliation went on quietly for some time ; the paper, sup- 
ported by credit, already exceeded the coin by many millions ; 
and the paper currency suffered no depreciation in commerce, be- 
cause the real state of matters was unsuspected. But on the dis- 
covery of the fraud, the depositors hastened eagerly and in crowds 
to claim payment, the coffers w^ere quickly drained, and as 
cash payments were refused, confidence in the good faith of the 
banks was destroyed. Great as w^as the injury inflicted from the 
extensive relations of the banks, it was equalled by the clamour 
and panic which followed : " These are the treasures of the king," 
they exclaimed, " unburied for our sakes ; these are the jewels of 
the queen, pawned or sold ! these are the fruits of the economy 
and self-denial exhibited by the royal family for the defence- and 
peace of the kingdom! their hypocritical talk of poverty and 
ostentatious display of generosity, all to enable them to carry on 
an infamous traffic with our substance ! The new taxes already 
exceed the increased expenditure ; and the king, the queen, and 
the minister Acton are enriching themselves by every turn of for- 
tune V With the usual inconsistency of the masses, they contra- 
dicted their preconceived notions, and passed from one extreme 
to another. 

The Government, eager to devise a remedy, amalgamated the 
seven banks of the metropolis into one, under the name of the 
National Bank ; they Qstablished small branch banks, and to 
guard against the extravagant rate of interest demanded by usur- 
ers, they degraded and punished many officers who had been 



208 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1794. 

employed in the banks, for real or supposed frauds. Affairs, how- 
ever, did not mend, and finding that their certificates were refused 
in commerce, the Government ordered that both the old and new 
notes should be accepted in private transactions, at their nominal 
value, thus inflicting an injury on the rights of all. Bills of ex- 
change now for the first time were marked ^^fuori banco," to indi- 
cate tliat they bore an equal value in cash species, a custom which 
still prevails, though the origin is forgotten. The state of the 
bank becoming worse and worse, the notes circulated at a dis- 
count which increased to 85 per cent. Fifty millions of ducats 
had been purloined in hard cash, and the capitals of the seven 
banks having been thus destroyed, thirty-seven millions of the 
property belonging to private individuals had been abstracted, 
without apology or shame, as chance or circumstances rendered it 
convenient. 

The financial laws continued without alteration from 1791 to! 799 : 
But two administrative laws were passed, which, had they been 
executed, might have proved beneficial ; by the first, every com- 
munity was obliged to draw up a map or table indicative of their 
lands and produce ; and by the other, the rental of the communal 
domains was fixed upon conditions advantageous to the tenants, 
and favouring those who were in poor circumstances. Nothing 
was done to advance legislation, commerce, science, or art, or to 
improve the economy of the state ; for, instead of attending to the 
government or guidance of the kingdom, the rulers were only eager 
to maintain their absolute power and prepare for Avar. Thus, 
while their despotism increased, the laws were neglected. 

Although hardly worthy of record, I must here mention a con- 
test which arose, but soon terminated between the kings of Naples 
and Sweden, as it is alluded to in every history of this period. 
After the death of Gustavus iii., the king his successor ruled over 
Sweden in the interests of the party who had murdered his bro- 
ther ; new conspiracies were therefore plotted, and the new^ king's 
life placed in periL Baron d'Armfeldt, the Neapolitan ambassador, 
was among the conspirators, and his guilt being proved, the king 
of Sweden in courteous terms demanded him of the king of the 
Sicilies. The assassination of Gustavus, a prince inclined for war, 
and the bitter enemy of France, had been lamented by the royal 



1794. FERDINAND IV. 209 

house of Naples, who, holding all concerned in his death Jaco- 
bins and supporters of the kings opposed to them, now aiforded 
Baron d'Armfeldt facilities to escape into Austria. The king of 
Sweden indignantly appealed to the Courts of Europe in a mani- 
festo of his rights, which he declared his determination to maintain. 
The king of Naples, neither intimidated nor abashed, answered by 
another manifesto. This scandalous contest was continued by the 
ministers of the respective courts, until the Swedish sovereign de- 
manded reparation or war. But the first was not complied with, the 
latter never commenced ; and the whole affair was in time forgotten. 
To the calamities of war, famine, scarcity, and turmoil, w^as added 
another disaster in the year 1794, more terrible, because one no 
precaution could avert. In the night of the 12th June, a violent 
earthquake shook the city, and a hollow and deep rumbling noise 
indicated an approaching eruption of Vesuvius. The inhabitants 
of the cities and towns at the foot of the mountain fled from their 
houses, waiting in the open air for the dawn of day, Avhich broke 
calmly ; but at the summit of the volcano, a dense black cloud 
obscured the azure and glow of the sky, and, as the morning ad- 
vanced, the noise increased, as well as the darkness and terror. 
Thus passed three days. On the night preceding the fourth, the 
15th and 16th June, there came a report as from a hundred pieces 
of ordnance, and a fiery column was seen to rise from the side of 
the mountain, divide, and fall by its own weight, circulating round 
the declivity ; vivid and long flashes of lightning issuing from the 
volcano vanished in the sky, and balls of fire were hurled to great 
distances, the rumbling sound bursting out in tones of thunder. 
Flame rose above flame, for the crater of the volcano continued 
unchanged, and two streams of lava were formed, which first ad- 
vanced rapidly and then moved slowly towards Resina and Torre 
del Greco. The population of these cities, 32,000 persons, stood 
gazing at the scene in grief and wonder. The town of Resina 
covers the site of the ancient Herculaneum, and Torre del Greco 
was originally built where the mountain meets the sea. Half was 
covered by a prior eruption, which had brought down so much 
matter as to form a promontory upon the ruins of the city. New 
houses had been built on that elevation, and the two cities, the 
high and the low, communicated by steep streets, formed in steps, 

VOL. I. s 



210 HlSTOliY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1794. 

one part being at least eighty hraccia above the other. The erup- 
tion of 1794 completed the work of destruction, leaving only the 
tops of a few buildings visible in the upper town to mark the 
calamity, and entirely covering the lower city, overwhelming all 
alike, high and low, and even the towers of the churches. Many 
of the fields around Resina, and a few of the buildings nearest the 
mountain were consumed; the lava only ceasing to flow after it 
had reached the further extremity of the town. The first stream 
which buried Torre del Greco entered the sea, drove back the 
waters, and left in their place a mass of basalt of sufficient magni- 
tude to form a mole and roadstead, where small vessels could seek 
shelter from tempests. The two streams, bending with the fall or 
curvature of the land, sometimes met, and sometimes again divided 
into lesser rivulets ; a convent containing three persons was sur- 
rounded, flight became impossible, and they all perished from 
suff'ocation caused by the intense lieat. The road followed by the 
greater stream of lava was four miles in length, a distance which 
it traversed in three hours ; the materials ejected by the mountain 
appearing greater than its whole dimensions. 

Thus the night passed away. The morning hour struck, but 
the light of day had not dawned, for it was concealed by the thick 
and black shower of ashes which poured down like rain for many 
miles around the city. The appearance of continual night spread 
gloom throughout the metropolis, and, as is commonly the case, 
all turned for consolation to the resources of religion. Men and 
women of every age or condition with bare feet, dishevelled hair 
and ropes round their necks, as a sign of contrition, walked in 
processions from the city to the bridge of the Maddalena, where 
the image of St. Januarius is worshipped, which had been set up 
in remembrance of a supposed miracle during some former erup- 
tion, and is represented as commanding the volcano to cease. 
When the processions arrived on the spot, that composed of the 
upper classes uttered the usual prayers in a low voice, while the 
common people shouted a hymn, composed for the occasion in the 
Neapolitan dialect. Meantime the Cardinal Archbishop of Naples, 
followed by all the clergy in their sacerdotal robes, bearing the 
golden statue of the saint, and the phial containing his blood, 
stopped at the bridge, and turning the sacred image towards the 



J791. FERDINAND IV. 211 

mountain, invoked the mercy of God in psalms. The calamities 
of nature, however, continued unabated. As the ashes, which 
were now heaped on the roofs and terraces of the houses, threat- 
ened to crush them by their weight, the municipal magistrates 
ordered that they should be removed, and, urged on by their 
fears, more even than by commands, the people immediately set 
to work to clear them from their houses into the streets below. 
Night stole on unperceived, and was only recognised by the sound 
of the bells which were rung as usual ; after some hours the dark- 
ness became so intense, that the city, which was not then lighted 
by lamps, was like a, close room, and the citizens, who did not ven- 
ture to enter their houses, from the fear of earthquakes, stood 
bewailing themselves in the streets or squares, and waiting the 
last abyss of misery. The following day, the third since the dark- 
ness commenced, it sensibly diminished, though the light of day 
could still be only feebly distinguished, the sun appearing as at 
its rising, pale and dim ; the shower of ashes was less copious, 
and the fire and thunder from the volcano ceased. This apparent 
security, the fatigues they had undergone, and the consequent 
lassitude, induced the inhabitants to return to their houses ; but 
in the middle of the night they were awakened and terrified by a 
fresh earthquake ; and whilst the ground still trembled beneath 
them, they heard a crash, as of the fall of many houses, and each 
city feared its neighbour lay in ruins. 

At daybreak the truth was discovered ; for the mountain was 
seen deprived of its summit, which had been swallowed up in the 
vortex of the volcano, causing the earthquake and noise ; Mount 
Vesuvius had before towered above Mount Somma, but they had 
now changed their relative positions, and the latter soared highest. 
The truncated mountain remained of a conical form. Tlie height 
was three thousand metres (metre = 39".37l English inches, about 
nine thousand two hundred Neapolitan pabni), tlie base elliptical, 
and five miles in circumference ; the greatest thickness of the 
lava, eleven metres (Jorty pahni) ; the land covered for five hundred 
moggia^ with liquid fire, and the mole which projected twenty-five 
metres into the sea, was a fourth part of a mile in width, and rose 
six metres above the waves. Tiiirty-three men, and four thousand 

^ Mog(jla. Rather less than an English acre. 



212 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1704. 

two hundred animals had perished. The government could only 
express their commiseration, as the straitened condition of the 
exchequer forbade all pecuniary assistance. A new city was shortly 
seen to rise from the soil which was yet warm ; houses were built 
on the ruins of former houses, streets upon streets, and churches 
upon churches ; so strong is the attachment to home, which, could 
such a sentiment be blamed, might, in the midst of this desolation, 
have been stigmatized as stubborn infatuation. 

In these days of universal mourning, the king, with his family 
and General Acton, escaped the danger and gloom by visiting the 
camp at Sessa. The theatres, law-courts, and tribunals were closed, 
while the Junta of State alone, it appears, amidst this scene of woe, 
refused to suspend their cruel office ; many of their acts being 
found in the archives, dated during this period. Their first deed 
was the execution of Tommaso Amato, who had forced his way 
to the sanctuary in the Church del Carmine upon a feast day, and 
while struggling with a friar who endeavoured to stop him, uttered 
loud and horrible imprecations against God and the king : he was 
seized by the people, who delivered him to the guards of the adjoin- 
ing castle, and, accused of blasphemy and treason, he was condemned 
to die on the gallows. The king ordered prayers in the churches 
to appease the wrath of God which had been excited by this pro- 
fanation of the temple and priests. The remains of Tommaso 
Amato were not permitted Christian burial, and his name was 
pronounced with horror. But letters from Messina, his native place, 
written by the governor of that city, General Dan^ro, informed 
his judges, that Tommaso Amato was subject to periodical fits of 
insanity, and had some time since escaped from a madhouse. 
The president of the court, Cito, and the judge, Potenza, suspected 
as much while engaged in the proces, and had proposed he should 
be placed under restraint as insane ; but the other judges were 
desirous of punishing a man whom the people believed guilty, and 
to confirm the sentence of the rabble, which denounced him as the 
enemy of God and the king. The Junta, after thus rousing the 
ferocity of the people by the sight of blood, prepared what was 
called the Gran Causa de rei di State (the grand trial for political 
offenders). The government, alarmed by the recent events in France 
and Italy, enjoined severity on the judges. Robespierre was at 



ir!)4. FEKDINANI) IV. 213 

the head of affairs in France, where the most atrocious doctrines 
reigned triumphant, wliile the French armies ruled abroad; in Pied- 
mont, a conspiracy against the king had been discovered, and been 
succeeded by tumults : the germs of liberty were springing up in 
Bologna, and suspected conspiracies in Naples had become real, 
owing to bad harvests, always dangerous to tranquillity, to the 
poverty of the people, to the resentment of tliose who had been un- 
justly persecuted, and to such causes as usually conduce to the 
growth of dissatisfaction. The Junta of State commenced the trials ; 
their proceedings were inquisitorial, the proofs given in writing, se- 
cret accusations or denunciations accepted as evidence, and even paid 
spies received as witnesses ; in which capacity servants, children, 
and the nearest relatives were allowed to appear. The proces, drawn 
up in secret, was handed to the advocates for the prisoner, who 
were appointed by the king ; the defences were produced in writ- 
ing, the accused was not permitted to speak, and the sentence was 
pronounced witli closed doors ; the affirmations of persons employed 
as inquisitors were admitted as equal to a formal examination into 
the case, and though the judges were not forbidden to consult their 
law-books, this was found incompatible with the short time allowed 
for the trial, which was ad horas ; the scrivano was employed as 
inquisitor ; and the magistrate who pronounced sentence was 
selected from among those who bore the worst cliaracter, such as 
Vanni, in the time of whicli I write, and subsequently, Fiore, Gui- 
dobaldi, and Speciale. The judges were unequal in number, in 
order to deprive the prisoner of the benefit of equal votes. Punish- 
ments of the most severe description were prescribed, death by 
the gallows, and exile ; the sentences were without appeal, and 
to be immediately executed ; and the victim to be held infamous ; 
an order which was, however, never obeyed. 

Tlie proces for political offences having been completed, the pro- 
curator-fiscal declared the proofs against certain of the prisoners 
undoubted, and prepared the prosecution of the remainder as well 
as of those who had escaped, some of whom lay concealed, or were 
fortunate enough to be at liberty though implicated, or Avere in 
the em^^loyment of government ; " for," he added, " he held cer- 
tain proofs against twenty thousand persons, and fifty thousand 
more were under suspicion.'' After this opinion had been delivered. 



214 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1794. 

the king ordered the Junta of State to try the guilty persons law- 
fully indicted by the procurator-fiscal ad modum belli ad horas ; 
the tribunal then continued without intermission to sentence those 
accused, from the 16th September when it first met, until its dis- 
solution on the Sd October, allowing themselves no repose, except 
for the necessaries of life. The minutes for the proces against 
fifty persons filled one hundred and twenty-four volumes. The 
procurator-fiscal demanded punishment for thirty, who were first to 
be put to the torture, to discover their accomplices ; judgment was 
held suspended over nineteen, but they were to be imprisoned 
with the thirty above mentioned ; the last of the fifty was not 
named. This man, by name Pietro di Falco, the leader of the plot, 
had betrayed his associates, and revealed the names of the mem- 
bers of the secret societies ; he was nevertheless condemned to be 
confined for life in the island of Tremiti. The tribunal proceeded 
to condemn three to death, three to the galleys, twenty to confine- 
ment, and thirteen to lesser punishments ; ten were liberated. 
Among those imprisoned was the Duke d'Accadia, and the king 
maintaining the privileges of his order, caused two nobles to assist at 
the trial, under the name of peers, a last mark of respect to the 
law. The conspiracy was not even named in the sentence by which 
the conspirators suftered, as the judges were ashamed thus severely 
to punish the secret meetings of youths burning with patriotism, 
inexperienced in the world, without wealth, fame, influence, or the 
audacity which alone could have enabled them to introduce inno- 
vations in the State, and holding crime in abhorrence, as well as the 
class of men who giv^e the first impetus to revolutions. They had 
only been guilty of vows, declarations, and hopes. For this con- 
spiracy three died, many sufiered severe penalties, and all were 
menaced ; while public morals were deteriorated, and party spirit 
and enmities created, followed by acts of tyranny on the part of the 
government, and insubordination on the part of the subjects, — and 
in the course of time, by violent and inextinguishable hatred and 
thirst for vengeance. 

Those condemned to die were Vincenzo Vitaliano, twenty-two 
years of age ; Emanuele di Deo, twenty ; and Vincenzo Galliani, 
only nineteen ; all of gentle birth, well known in the schools as young 
men of talent, but unknown to the world. After they had been 



iriu. FERDINAND IV. 215 

condemned, the queen sent for Giuseppe Deo, the father of Emanuele, 
and bade liim go to his son with a promise of life and full pardon, 
if he would reveal the conspiracy and the names of the conspir- 
ators. The old man found Emanuele in the chapel receiving the 
last consolations of religion ; and left alone with him (as the queen 
liad directed), embraced his son in trembling, and delivered his 
message, urging on him the promised reward. He expatiated on 
his own grief, on that of his mother, and on the disgrace to his 
family, and proposed after Emanuele had recovered his liberty, to 
retire with him to some distant country, and return in less troubled 
times. Emanuele listened without uttering a word, and his father 
supposing he was about to yield, threw himself at his feet, and 
bursting into tears, entreated him in broken accents to have 
pity upon him. The youth, however, hastily raised him from the 
ground, and after kissing his hands and face, replied : — " My 
father, the tyrant in whose name you come, not satisfied with hav- 
ing thus afflicted us, hopes to add infamy to our grief, by now offer- 
ing me a disgraceful life at the price of a thousand honourable lives ; 
suffer me to die ; liberty demands much blood, but the first shed 
is the purest. "What is the existence you propose for your son and 
for yourself? Where could we hide our ignominy ? I should have 
to fly all I prize most — my country and my kindred; and you would 
blush for your honoured name. Calm your grief, soothe the grief 
of my mother, and both of you seek comfort in the recollection 
that I die innocent, and in a righteous cause. Let us bear present 
and temporary suffering, and the time will come when my name 
will be immortalized in history, and when you will boast that 
your son died for his country." The noble spirit, lofty words, 
and transcendent courage of the youth, burning with the love of 
true glory, deprived his father of the power of answering, and 
almost ashamed of being surpassed in virtue by a mere boy, he 
covered his face with his hands, and, overcome with emotion and 
feelings of admiration, rushed from the dreadful spot. 

The following day the three youths were led to execution ; they 
made no dying speeches, which, though having the appearance of 
courage, are often used merely to distract thought in an hour of 
misery ; but met death with a serenity of mind unknown to tlieir 
tyrants, who believed that fifty thousand Jacobins were assembled 



216 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1794. 

in the city ready to rise and rescue their comrades, and put tlie 
heads of the government and their adherents to death. The 
scaffold, therefore, was erected in the square called Del Castello, 
under the guns of the fortress ; the place was surrounded by sol- 
diers, artillery planted at the openings of the streets, and numerous 
bodies of troops advanced nearer the city ; the people were likewise 
informed by a proclamation, that the cannon of the castle should 
be discharged at the slightest movement on their part. Police 
officers in disguise as w^ell as in uniform, and swarms of spies, 
mingled with the crowd : but after all these measures of safety 
had been taken, the royal family remained at the palace of Caserta, 
in a state of more breathless anxiety than the three youths who 
died resigned to their fate. Ileal terror was produced in the city 
by these outward signs, and the square would have been empty, 
had not scenes of horror been as attractive to the rabble as a 
festival. After Galliani and Deo had been executed, and the third 
was ascending the scaffold, a slight movement in the crowd, the 
origin of which was unknown, spreading through the spectators, 
whose fears had been excited by the preparations menacing them 
from the overhanging bastions, caused such a panic, that some of 
the people were wounded in the hurry of flight, many were robbed, 
and the square emptied, so that the executioners finished their 
task without witnesses. 

Natural phenomena rendered the year 1794 still more gloomy; 
several men were killed by thunderbolts ; one fell in a church, and 
another in the port of Naples, where it split the masts and 
destroyed the rigging of a new vessel just ready equipped for 
the war ; and a sailor was burnt to ashes. Many and fearful 
shipwrecks occurred on our shores, epidemics of a severe nature 
prevailed, and many eminent men died in the metropolis, so that 
at the conclusion of a year to which the credulous attached a 
superstitious idea, better times were expected. But in the com- 
mencement of the following year, news arrived of the death of the 
Prince of Cararaanico, Viceroy of Sicily, accompanied by rumours 
and tales respecting his end, such as were calculated to spread a 
panic throughout both kingdoms. The reader must here be 
reminded, that it was the Prince of Caramanico who first proposed 
to the queen to invite Acton from Tuscany ; that x\cton on his 



FERDINAND 17. 217 

arrival liad found favour at Court, and, jealous of his benefactor, 
had availed himself of his new influence to remove the prince to a 
distance from the palace. Caramanico therefore was supposed to 
have died of poison, cither by the connivance of his rival, or taken 
to save himself tlie mortification, and to deprive his enemy of the 
triumph, of seeing him led prisoner to the fortress of Gaeta under 
an accusation of treason, of which he had received intimation by 
messengers in whom he could confide ; and he had determined to 
avoid the disgrace and danger by death. Several occurrences 
in the prince's household, the precautions which had been used, 
his sudden death, supposed marks of poison, the circumstances 
of the times, his high position, and the power of an unscrupulous 
enemy, strengtliened the belief in these stories. The odium in 
wliich the minister and the queen were held was increased, and 
began to be displayed towards the king (whose indolence was not 
sufficient excuse for the crimes perpetrated in his name), and tales 
to the prejudice of all three were circulated among the people, 
which were derogatory to the royal dignity, and excited a spirit 
of hatred against those in power. After the lamented death of 
the viceroy, all hoped for the disgrace of the minister, and that he 
would be replaced by the Chevalier de Medici, a nobleman of 
high family, and who was already on the road to political great- 
ness ; judging by his rapid career through the offices he had 
already held, he was pronounced worthy of still higher advance- 
ment, which was the more eagerly demanded in the present perils 
of the state. This reputation which, when proceeding from the 
people, is always a recommendation, increased the ambition of the 
youth, attracted the notice of the queen, and excited the jealousy 
of the ministers, which was the greater since they knew that no 
other man in the Court of Naples could rise, or even aspire to an 
elevation equal to themselves ; and therefore they had only to set 
aside this one rival, to secure their own permanence in office. 

They were aware that the sure way to accomplish his ruin was to 
accuse him of treason, and only wanted time to weave the web of 
calumny. Among those condemned by the Junta was one Annibale 
Giordano, a professor in mathematics, and man of great talents 
though low moral character ; he was in the habit of frequenting the 
house of Medici, where he was received as a friend. Whether 

VOL. I. T 



218 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1795. 

prompted by others, or induced by the baseness of his own nature, 
he accused the Chevalier Medici as an accomplice in the conspiracy. 
The minister, Acton, kept the letter containing the accusation, 
promised to conceal the name of the accuser, and giving him a 
reward, charged him to keep the matter secret ; he then proceeded 
to collect other evidence, with the names of the accusers under- 
signed, or even without names, but under a promise to reveal 
them, when the regent was deprived of his terrific power. The 
evidence having been collected, the minister sent to request a pri- 
vate interview with the king and queen, when he addressed them 
as follow^s : — 

" In the present evil times, replete w^ith difficulties, loyalty is 
often confounded with treachery, the true with the false ; where 
accusations are disbelieved, the State may be exposed to danger, 
and where believed, the royal peace of mind is disturbed, and 
perhaps the honest and just are suspected. In cases of minor im- 
portance, therefore, armed with the authority granted me by your 
Majesties, I have acted on my own responsibility ; and thus, all 
severe measures are attributed to me, and clemency to the king. 
But there are more serious cases, where the authority of a minister 
is not sufficient, and I dare not be alone responsible. I have,'' he 
continued, pointing to the papers in his hand, " long refrained from 
mentioning an affair of great importance, but silence would now 
be guilt on my part. Annibale Giordano, who was among the 
first accused of treason, has had the courage, in a paper signed with 
his name, to accuse the regent of the Yicaria, the Chevalier de 
Medici, as an accomplice in the conspiracy.'' Wonder appeared in 
the countenance of the king, and indignation in that of the queen, 
but without appearing to notice the effect of his words, he con- 
tinued : " The enormity of the crime weakens our belief in the 
accusation ; a young man raised to one of the first positions in 
the State, with still higher distinctions before him, born of a noble 
family, treated with favour by his sovereigns, and with respect by 
the ministers (by one of wliom he is even beloved), how is it 
possible that he should stake so many present advantages for a 
visionary hope in the future ? The accusation might be considered 
a calumny and invention of an enemy, had not the regulations so 
wisely laid down by your Ma-jesty for the public safety, prevented 



1795. FERDINAND IV. 219 

the omission of a single truth, and discovered other facts and 
fresh proofs against the regent : he was present at the meeting of 
tlie club of Jacobins at Posilippo, for the purpose of conspiracy, 
though under the pretence of a supper; he conferred with La 
Touche ; bj his means, the arrest of the Jacobins who w^ent on 
board the French vessel was stopped ; which at the time, though 
aware of the failure, I attributed to accident, or an ill-concerted 
plan, rather than to criminal intention. Other proofs of his guilt 
stand registered in these pages, and among them are calumnies 
against his sovereigns. Many noblemen, instigated by his advice 
and example, are ampng the conspirators, such as the Colonna, 
Caraccioli, Pignatelli, Serva, and Caraffa, with others distinguished 
by their birth, rank, and w^ealth. They are indeed younger mem- 
bers of these families, not the heads ; but the conspirators though 
mere youths are protected by their seniors, who, from natural 
affection, defend their children, and thus abet the enterprise. 
It is my duty to lay these matters before your Majesties, and 
w^aiting your decision, remind you that to balance the conduct of 
wicked and ungrateful men, you have the obedience of your army, 
the loyalty of your people, and the devotion of numbers." 

The queen did not venture to speak before the king had spoken ; 
and Ferdinand only asked the minister what he proposed, to which 
Acton replied : — " I know that it is the duty of the minister to 
suggest the remedy while exposing the evil ; but after long reflec- 
tion, I have not been able to solve the doubts which fill my mind, 
and I hoped for command and advice from your Majesties. Cle- 
mency and rigour are equally dangerous. A few months ago, the 
conspirators were men from the middle rank of life, they are now 
the highest in the State. Where will this insanity end, if not 
suppressed by terror ? Yet severity will offend many influential 
persons. The times indeed are changed, but the pride of the baro- 
nial wars survives in the memory of the people, who still relate 
histories of the injuries inflicted by the Arragonese kings and the 
struggles of the barons. The barons of to-day are not warriors, 
but they are supported by the passion for libert}', too widely spread 
among the people. In the midst of these doubts a thought has 
occurred to me, which might answer our purpose, though not 
strictly accordant w^ith the rules of justice, and which I will here 



220 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1795. 

lay before your Majesties. " The Chevalier de Medici is ambitious ; 
the impatience of youth cannot endure the suspense and tedium 
of expectation. If your Majesty would raise him to the cabinet, 
his guilty wish to change the government of the State would cease, 
and he would himself at once crush the conspiracy, all whose ma- 
chinations are well known to him."' Before Acton could finish his 
insidious suggestions, the queen interrupting him, exclaimed, — 
" Thus to disgrace the crown ! Are we sunk so low as to offer pre- 
miums to conspirators ? Who would not henceforth conspire against 
the Crown if, when successful and discovered, he is to be rewarded ? 
Sire," she added, turning to the king, " let the Chevalier de Me- 
dici, whatever his birth and influence, and the nobles of whatever 
name or wealth, share the common fate, and be brought before the 
tribunal of state ; one high example is worth a thousand obscure 
names.'' The king upon this broke up the conference, and ordered 
that the day after the morrow the ministers of the Crown, General 
Pignatelli, commander-in-chief of the army. Cardinal Fabrizio 
Ruffo, the Duke di Gravina, and the Prince of Migliano, should 
meet in council in the palace of Caserta. 

The next day the queen declared that she had been acquainted 
with the plots revealed by the minister, but had concealed them 
from the king, not to disturb his repose, and waiting until the 
proofs were matured. All this was a mere boast and falsehood, 
as the plots were invented by Acton himself to ruin Medici, and 
had been kept by him a profound secret to prevent any vindication. 
Even royal personages, wdien they meddle in matters of police, are 
contaminated with a desire for vain glory ; the crafty English- 
man seized the advantage presented him. by this falsehood, and 
privately informed a majority of the council that the queen had 
discovered new conspiracies, that a speech of his on the previous 
day, in which he had recommended mercy, had been ill received 
by the sovereigns, and that it would therefore be wiser to recommend 
severity ; he promised to mention no names, but begged for secresy, 
which was promised in return, and received thanks for his confi- 
dence. The council met in Caserta, where the king informed them 
he wished their advice in a matter of the utmost importance, con- 
cluding his short address in these words : " Forget your private 
affections, your ties of class and kindred ; and be guided only by 



1795. FERDINAND IV. 221 

one consideration, the safety of my crown. General Acton will 
explain the case." Acton accordingly stated the affair in a studied 
and insidious speech, after wliich the king asked the opinion of 
those present, who only added accusations to the accusations 
already made by the minister ; as under a tyrant, adulation or 
cowardice often prevents good advice in times of greatest need. 
It was resolved that Medici, with as many as were accused, noble 
or plebeian, should undergo their trial. The Junta of State, who 
had been in such haste to punish, that in the case of Tommaso 
Amato they could not wait for letters from Messina, and who had 
been so merciless towards three almost beardless youths, were not 
thought either sufficiently expeditious or sufficiently austere to sit 
in judgment in the case now before them. Their partiality was 
feared towards the Chevalier de Medici, who had himself been one 
of them, and until that time had shown himself unrelenting towards 
those very conspirators who were now said to be his associates. 
The Junta was therefore dissolved, and rccomposed of men of 
harsher character. Vanni and Giaquinto were retained ; but in 
place of Cito, Porcinari, Bisogni, and Potenza, were appointed the 
magistrate Giuseppe Guidobaldi, Fabrizio RuiFo, Prince of Castelci- 
cala, and others, already notorious. Castelcicala was at that time 
ambassador in London, but returned home, overjoyed at his new 
office and the opportunity it afforded him of proving his fidelity to 
his sovereigns, and his indignation against rebels to God and the 
throne. The queen was delighted at his appointment, since a 
princely inquisitor of state justified her former declaration, that 
she would destroy the old prejudice which attached infamy to spies, 
who were in reality the best citizens, because faithful to the throne, 
and guardians of the law. Vanni was accordingly created a mar- 
quis, and the order of Constantino decorated the lowest and most 
infamous of informers, while offices of state were bestowed on 
those alone who were designated meritorious persons. 

The innate loquacity of the queen, to whom we are indebted 
for a knowledge of the private conversations of Acton, the king, 
and herself, revealed what had taken place at the council at Ca- 
serta to the Marchioness Sammarco, one of her ladies, her con- 
fidante and companion ; whom she informed that her brother, the 
Chevalier de Medici, was a Jacobin, that if aided by fortune he 



222 HISTOEY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1795. 

would prove a second Robespierre, and that he had been conspir- 
ing against the throne. Warned of his danger, Medici went to the 
palace, and though denied access to the queen, had an interview 
with the king, who, however, vouchsafed no reply to his argu- 
ments and entreaties, but the following day deposed him from his 
office, and shut him up in the fortress of Gfaeta. One of the Colonna 
family, a son of the Prince di Stigliano, the Duke di Canzano, the 
Count di Ruvo, one of the Serra of Cassano, Caracciolo, Riari, and 
others, distinguished by their ancestors or their high rank, were at 
the same time conducted to prison ; they belonged to the first 
order of barons, were related to the most ancient nobility of the 
kingdom, and their families had been held by the people in venera- 
tion and awe from the earliest period. To explain this bold pro- 
ceeding on the part of the Government, it must be remembered that 
the sovereigns of Naples, roused to the utmost indignation by the 
insults oiFered to monarchy, and by sympathy with their unhappy 
relatives, had been first furious against the French, but despairing 
of being able to execute vengeance against a powerful and distant 
nation, turned their rage upon such persons within their own king- 
dom who represented the opinions of France. All were called Jaco- 
bins who were enamoured with the charms of liberty, who spoke in 
praise of republics, who read foreign newspapers, or who imitated 
French fashions in their dress ; from Jacobins, by degrees, they were 
stigmatized as conspirators desirous of the downfall of the throne, 
the destruction of the altars, and the death of kings and priests. 
The mere expression of abstract opinions as well as external ap- 
pearances in every-day life, were considered evidence of guilt, and 
obtained the importance attached to the greatest crimes. Upon 
the arrival of Admiral La Touche, some few Neapolitans had indeed 
met secretly to confer with the French, and had translated into 
Italian, and printed, the constitution of 1791 ; but after their 
meetings had been suppressed by the severities of the Government, 
the word liberty was rarely heard, and the news of the day was 
only spoken in whispers, the people expressing their joy in the 
successes of France, and their hopes, in a low voice to one another, 
and then separating. No conspiracy existed, nor project for a 
change, and these phantasms were raised by the police, the Junta 
of State, the ministers and the queen, with her numerous band of 



in>5. FERDINAND IV. 223 

spies. The absence of proof, and the belief that the silence of the 
accused proceeded from secrecy and fidelity to their party, ren- 
dered tlieir rulers more savage, and they multiplied the torments 
of the prisoners, while filling the prisons with men such as Pagano, 
Ciaja, Monticelli, Bisceglia, Bishop Forges, and others, respected 
for learning and virtue : they laid snares for innocence, while pro- 
mising ofiices and gifts to whoever should reveal treasonable crimes ; 
they corrupted family life by setting brother against brother, son 
against father ; and they depraved the morals of the people by dis- 
solving the obligations of the servant, the tutor, the client, and the 
confessor, thus disorg^inizing society. 

Unhappily, the success of the government in a case at Palermo, 
helped to aggravate this state of suspicion and misery The people 
there, suffering from starvation owing to the bad harvests of that 
year, drained by new taxes, discontented with the government of 
the Archbishop Lopez, who had succeeded in the island upon the 
death of Caramanico, rose in tumults which could have been easily 
prevented or suppressed. A lawyer of the name of Blasi, with a few 
others, met secretly to consult if it were possible to turn the des- 
perate state of the people to account, by exciting them to a revo- 
lution ; betrayed and thrown into prison, Blasi was executed, after 
having been first put to the torture in the public square, according 
to ancient usage : others were sent to the galleys, and others into 
exile ; the people were in consternation ; and while their tyrants 
were still farther exasperated, endurance, but not calm, succeeded 
this attempt. While the details of the supposed conspiracy were yet 
unknown in Naples, the king and queen believing they were sur- 
rounded by treachery and death, dismissed their ancient body- 
guard, and chose others, changed their attendants, altered the 
routine of the palace, ordered their food to be tested, and concealed 
their sleeping apartments from the common menials ; their alarm 
increased daily, and they deprived others of the peace of mind 
they could not obtain for themselves. In the midst of these scenes 
of agitation, terror, and rigour, they published an edict by which 
crimes of treason were pardoned, and rewards oifercd to all guilty 
persons, who should reveal the conspiracy, its leaders, or associates. 
In consequence of this edict, three refugee nobles gave information 
upon matters which were both unimportant and false ; but I refrain 



224 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1794. 

from mentioning their names, as tliey afterwards washed out the 
stain with their blood ; one dying in war, and the other two, 
who were brothers, on the scaffold. 

So much shame and misery at home, was in some degree 
compensated for by tlie news of the conduct of the regiments of 
Neapolitan cavalry, serving with the Germans in the war in Lom- 
bardy, where they displayed at least equal discipline and valour ; 
and of our ships which, having joined the English in the Gulf of 
Genoa, had fallen in w^ith the French fleet which had left Toulon, 
with the intention of carrying the war into the coasts of Romagna, 
where they were to land the soldiers on board. The fleets were 
equal, but we had superior skill and fortune on our side, and tlie 
French, after losing two men-of-war and a brigantine, returned into 
port shattered and beaten. Admiral Hotham, who commanded 
the Anglo-Neapolitan fleet, higlily commended the conduct of our 
men, and especially noted the intrepidity and skill displayed by 
Francesco Caracciolo, the captain of a frigate, for whom Providence 
destined at no distant time a glorious life and unhappy end. 
Within the kingdom, the communes furnished the soldiers de- 
manded of them, and the barons sent cavalry and horses ; the 
public taxes were paid, and the people bore, without murmurs, the 
increasing loss upon bank paper. At the very time when this 
unhappy nation was thus giving so many proofs of patriotism, the 
people were treated as rebels by their king, and maligned by the 
world ; yet they bore the burdens of the war, and while suffering 
the penalties and infamy due to felons, made every exertion de- 
manded of them by loyalty. During this period, and until the year 
1 795, France was governed in the form of a republic, but in reality 
a few men tyrannized over the people as slaves, and slavery and 
tyranny seemed to flow alike from the pure sources of liberty. The 
despotism of Robespierre arose under the Convention, which, while 
causing the death of eighteen hundred Frenchmen beneath the axe, 
established a free government ; after his death and the cessation 
of the guillotine, the power pissed into the hands of five called 
the Directory, and these atrocities having been put an end to, the 
government of France wore a less terrific aspect to foreign nations, 
but became more obnoxious to royal personages, because better 
understood by the people. 



i:.)4. FERDINAND IV. 225 

General Bonaparte, who had first attracted public notice at 
Toulon, now acquired celebrity in the parties at Paris, and attained 
the rank of captain while fighting in Italy. Only just passed his 
twenty-fifth year, he was treated with derision by the veteran 
captains of tlie Houses of Austria and Savoy ; but in a short time 
their contempt was changed into wonder and terror. The allied 
armies were dispersed in the battles of Montenotte, Millessimo, 
Dego, and Mondovi, and the Piedmontese were forced to choose 
between submission or conquest, while the Austrians retired into 
tlie Lombard States, and all the princes of Italy were in conster- 
nation ; the weak negotiated for peace, and the strong or presump- 
tuous increased their defences and the number of their soldiers. 
Venice alone, remembering her former greatness, and believing that 
in tlie midst of the sea she was inaccessible to French battalions, 
her alliance courted by France as well as by the hostile powers, 
signified her intention of maintaining an armed neutrality, but to 
refrain from attacking the dominions of others, while defending 
her own. Naples, at the extremity of the peninsula, with a strong 
frontier, a large population, and the island of Sicily which served 
as a citadel to the kingdom and Italy, ruled the Mediterranean sea 
by her own forces, and by those of the Confederation. Her king, of 
a rash and impetuous temper, and who until that time had been 
obliged to suffer insult without the means of revenge, defied the 
enemy by sending more cavalry into Lombardy, and proclaiming 
war in edicts couched in the following style : — *' The French, the 
murderers of their king, who forsake their temples, who massacre 
and expel their priests, destroy their best and greatest citizens, 
spoil the Church of her possessions, and subvert all law and justice, 
unsatiated with crime, abandon their native land in hordes, and 
bring with them a like scourge to the nations they conquer, or to 
those who are credulous enough to receive them as friends. But 
the kings and people already wait in arms, determined on their 
destruction, and following this example of justice and courage, we 
will trust in the Divine aid and our own weapons. Let prayers 
be offered up in all the churches, and let all devout Neapolitans go 
to their orisons, and invoke God for the repose of the kingdom, 
listen to the exhortations of their priests, and follow the councils 
preached from the pulpits, and enjoined in the confessionals." 



226 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1796. 

" A conscription is opened in every commune, and all ye who are 
capable of bearing arms, hasten to enrol yourselves as soldiers. 
Remember that it is for the defence of your country, the throne, 
liberty, the most holy Christian religion, your wives, children, and 
property ; for all you prize in life, your institutions and laws. I 
will myself share in your prayers and exertions, for I would sooner 
die than relinquish our independence or abandon our righteous 
cause." 

In an address to bishops, curates, confessors, and missionaries, 
he ordered: "For the space of three days, prayers and penance 
are to be performed in the churches of the two kingdoms, to in- 
voke the Almighty for the repose of my dominions. You will 
from the altars and confessionals remind the people of their duties 
as Christians and subjects ; which are to maintain a pure heart 
towards God, and a hand armed in the defence of religion and the 
throne. You will point out the horrors of the present state of 
France ; the fallacies of that tyranny which is called liberty, the 
license of the French troops, and the dangers to which all are ex- 
posed. You will excite the zeal of the people by processions and 
sacred ceremonies. You will warn them that the revolutionary 
spirit is intent upon the subversion of every order of society, and 
begins with signing the death-warrant of the two first, the Cliurch 
and the throne.'' 

Finally, by another edict addressed to the ministers of the crown, 
it was declared that political necessity, as well as the will of the 
sovereign, called upon all men capable of bearing arms to enrol 
themselves in the army. As a further incentive, besides obedience 
to the royal commands, and the usual rewards and immunities, an 
increase of pay was promised to volunteers, as well as the privilege 
of exemption from trial by the ordinary tribunals,^ for themselves 
and their families ; and to those who displayed valour during the 
war, exemption from the fiscal taxes for the space of ten years. 
Still greater temptations were held out to all barons or nobles 
who should join the standard, or enlist a strong corps from 
among their vassals. The edicts were circulated throughout the 
provinces, while the metropolis set an example of obedience. The 
three days' sacred service commenced in the cathedral, and in the 

1 See p. 138. 



1796. FERDINAND IV. 227 

Chapel of St. Januarius ; the king with his family, the great nobles 
of the court, the magistrates and ministers, were in constant at- 
tendance ; and were followed by the lowest orders, and by the 
people, so that the immense temple could hardly contain the crowd 
of worshippers. The same took place in the provinces, and per- 
haps never did more fervent and sincere prayers ascend to heaven 
than in those days, which was a sufficient proof of the prevailing 
panic. The sermons which were chiefly preached by mission- 
aries and friars were full of zeal. They painted the French nation 
in the most hideous colours, stirring up the people against them, 
and not only granting absolution, but encouraging deeds of the 
utmost ferocity, while imparting an air of sanctity to a war of ex- 
termination, and recalling as works of merit, the savage deeds of 
a barbarous age. Their tone was still more unchristian in the con- 
fessionals, where, without the restraint of publicity, they stirred 
up a spirit of hatred in the hearts of the ignorant and unpolished 
people ; and thus sowed the seed which afterwards produced a 
harvest of slaughter. Soldiers hastened from all parts of the king- 
dom to join the army, and with a readiness worthy of republicans, 
rather than with the appearance of blind submission to authority. 
When the numbers were complete, thirty thousand men were en- 
camped in the open country, or placed as a guard on the frontiers 
and to menace the enemy. All w^ere alike occupied with devising 
schemes for the defence of the kingdom ; but as we had little 
experience in military matters, there was great divergence in 
opinions and projects. The chief direction of the war was shared 
among many leaders ; some undertook the care of one line of 
frontier, some of another ; labour and expense were thus vastly 
increased, and numberless experiments were made upon as many 
points. There was no general plan of operations in this war. The 
leaders were guided by history not principles ; the enemy was 
feared on the shores of the Liri, rather than in the mountains of 
the Abruzzi, and the camps and fortifications were disposed so as 
to protect that part of the country which lay nearest that river. It 
is, however, needless to dwell on these mistakes, as the loss of the 
kingdom may be attributed to other causes. The army was com- 
posed of numerous detachments of soldiers, collected together in 
close quarters, with little science to direct them, without military 



228 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1796. 

habits, and witli the commissariat, the officers, and generals, new to 
their task. This inexperience produced many evils, the most serious 
of which was a contagious disorder which became permanent in the 
camps. Though placed at great distances from one another, on 
the Garigliano and Tronto, the soldiers in each of the camps were 
seized with violent fevers, which occasioned death sometimes on 
the seventh day, but more frequently on the fifth. Those within 
reach of the contagion, and even those at a distance, were infected, 
if they were residing in the camps or quarters of the soldiers. The 
disease itself as well as the remedies were unknown, and every 
attempt at cure proved equally useless : the fever appeared 
incurable. Though the old hospitals were insufficient, new were 
not built, the sick were therefore confounded with the healthy, 
and the disease spreading everywhere, ten thousand soldiers 
perished, and the zeal of the people, thus unjustly remunerated 
by fate, began to cool. 

At the same time with the proclamation of war, another royal 
edict appeared, decreeing all worthy of death who should at the 
approach of the enemy receive or send letters or messages from or 
to him, or in any way assist him, or excite rebellion. Any assem- 
blage of persons, exceeding nine, was liable to the punishment for 
treason, while other severe measures and precautions were employed, 
as if the enemy had been at the gates. The trials were to be con- 
ducted ad horas ; the means of procuring evidence w^as facilitated, 
as the affirmations of three persons were considered enough, al- 
though the witnesses might be informers, or accomplices who had 
been induced to make these revelations, for the benefit of pardon. 
The magistrates were left to decide according to their consciences. 
The tribunal was the Junta, and their sentences, which were with- 
out appeal, were to be executed that same day. The immediate 
cause of this edict was the successes of General Bonaparte in 
Italy, the dissolution of the confederation between Austria and 
Piedmont, the armistice and consequent truce between France and 
the King of Sardinia, the capture of Milan, and other cities, with 
all the marvels performed by that young soldier ; and the disasters 
of General Beaulieu, who, besides his German troops, commanded 
four regiments of Neapolitan cavalry. Beaulieu was suddenly 
attacked and defeated on the Mincio, and forced to withdraw his 



1796. FERDINAND IV. 

army into the passes of the Tyrol ; but even this last refuge would 
have been denied him by the conquerors, if the Neapolitan 
cavalry, then making their first essay in arms, had not fouglit with 
a valour equal to veteran troops ; both officers and men died 
honourably ; General Cuto, wounded on the field, was taken 
prisoner, and the Prince di Moliterno, captain of a division, re- 
ceived a cut from a scimitar across the face, and lost an eye. The 
fame of the conduct of our soldiers, caused the French to suspend 
their projected invasion of the kingdom, as they expected to find 
the frontiers valiantly defended ; and, in order to deprive the 
enemy of his most po,werful ally, Bonaparte offered an armistice 
to the King of Naples. Ferdinand, whose hopes had been con- 
verted into fears, accepted the proposal, and after the terms had 
been settled at Brescia, recalled his regiments from Lombardy, 
and his ships from the Anglo-Sicilian fleets, making an ostenta- 
tious parade of neutrality ; while his fears and hatred were in reality 
increased, by the news that the cities of Italy occupied by the 
French, were organizing themselves into republics, and that this 
danger was advancing with as rapid strides as the conquest ; 
General Bonaparte had meantime traversed Lower Italy as far as 
Leghorn with a legion, which, though weak in numbers, was strong 
by the name and successes of their leader. 

But no sooner did the news arrive that Marshal Wurmser was 
descending into Italy with a fresh army, and that the French 
general was collecting his scattered troops, to withdraw them (as 
it was said) to a distance, than the king of Naples, with the hope 
of vengeance revived, and forgetful of the recent armistice, sent 
more soldiers to the frontier, occupied Pontecorvo, a city subject 
to the Pope, and prepared for hostilities. Though the pontiff was 
himself, by a recent treaty, on amicable terms with France, he 
prepared for war, and concerted a plan of operations with Austria 
and Naples. It is no wonder if in our days public faith — the great 
link which binds society together — be torn asunder and despised by 
the mass of mankind, when the example was first set them by 
their rulers, who for this purpose employed the irresistible force 
of despotic power, and the prestige attached to their position. 
Ferdinand of Naples and Pius vi. only waited for a favourable 
opportunity to discover their intentions, which appeared to present 



230 HISTOEY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1796. 

itself when they heard the French had heen forced to raise the 
siege of Mantua so hastily that they had not had time to carry off 
or destroy the lieavy artillery in the trenches. Cacault, the 
French minister at Rome, perceiving warlike preparations, asked 
the pontiff the motives for this armament ; receiving tardy and 
evasive answers, accompanied with renewed protestations of amity 
and peace, he proceeded to Naples, where the government, being 
either less cautious in^their language, or yielding to the impulses of 
their hatred, informed him that the occupation of Pontecorvo was in 
consequence of an agreement with the sovereign of the place ; and 
further, that if the states of the Pope were invaded by his enemies, 
the Neapolitans were resolved to enter his dominions by the 
opposite frontier, but that until then they would continue faith- 
ful to the armistice. Cacault informed the French government 
and the general of Italy, of the evasive answers of the Pope, the 
insolent replies of the king of Naples, and of the treachery of 
both. They w^ere just prepared to move, when news reached them 
that Bonaparte, taking advantage of the errors of Wurmser, had 
first attacked one-half of the imperial army and then the other, 
defeating them in three battles ; after which he had returned to 
the siege of Mantua, wdiere he found a great number of the guns 
he had left in the entrenchments ; for his victory had been so 
unexpected that the garrison, like their besiegers, had not had 
time to carry off or destroy the artillery and works. The enemies 
of France trembled, and the more false or insolent they had shown 
themselves, the more cowardly and cringing they now became. 
The Court of Rome made fresh protestations of amity ; but the 
French invaded the Legations, and only conceded a suspension of 
arms to the Holy See under heavy conditions. The King of the 
Sicilies petitioned that the armistice of Brescia should form the 
basis of a permanent treaty, and sent the Prince di Belmonte, 
ambassador to Bonaparte and the Directory, who accordingly, on 
the 11th October, obtained peace at Paris on the following con- 
ditions : — 

" Naples, separating from her allies, shall remain neutral : she 
shall forbid more than four vessels belonging to the potentates 
engaged in the war, entering her ports : she shall liberate all 
Frenchmen accused of treason, and incarcerated within her domi- 



179G. FERDINAND IV. 231 

nions : she shall try to discover, and shall punish those who stole 
the papers of Makau, when ambassador of France : she shall 
allow Frenchmen freedom in religious worship: she shall grant 
such privileges in commerce as shall impart to France in the ports 
of the Two Sicilies, benefits equal to those enjoyed by the most 
favoured flags: she shall recognise the Batavian Republic, and 
shall consider her a party in the present treaty of peace/' 

Secret conditions were added, to the effect that " the king 
should pay eight millions of francs (two millions of ducats) to the 
French Republic, and that the French should not advance beyond 
the fortress of Ancona until they had concluded a truce with the 
Pontiff, nor second any revolutionary movement in the southern 
regions of Italy/' 

This last condition, and the omission of all mention of Neapoli- 
tan prisoners accused of treason, cost our treasury a million of 
francs in gifts and bribery, and thus the cunning of our tyrants, 
and the greediness of a free government, obliged us to pay the 
price of our own miseries. The Directory was so highly incensed 
against Naples, that this peace would not have been ratified, had 
not Bonaparte persuaded them to bear with insult, until Austria 
had been conquered and forced to submit. " At this moment," 
he argued, " we want the power to express our resentment, but 
the day will surely arrive when present and future offences will 
be punished ; for the hatred of the barbarians against France will 
never cease until the old system be restored upon the ruins of the 
new."' Meantime the Republic prospered. The army of Pied- 
mont had been conquered ; three Austrian armies defeated ; Man- 
tua was yielding ; peace concluded wdth Sardinia, Prussia, and 
Spain ; Russia silenced by the death of the Empress Catharine, 
and by tlie pacific disposition of her successor ; several of the 
states of Italy had been formed into Republics and allied to 
France, and the Italian princes were either tributaries or neutral. 
Sucli was the state of affairs at the end of the year 1796. 

As the peace, like the preceding armistice, had been a stratagem 
Dn the side of the Neapolitan government to gain time, or to await 
\ more favourable moment for w^ar, fresh battalions were added to 
:he army, fortifications on the frontiers, and tribute demanded 
^or the exchequer. The measures for public safety were unceas- 



232 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1796. 

mg, and the country was burdened with the expense of two war 
establishments, one for abroad and the other for defence at 
home, while exposed to danger on both sides. One last hope 
revived the spirits of the people — the news, that after the fall of 
Mantua, the disasters of the Austrian armies, and the armistice, 
peace conferences had been opened at Leoben, and that the Mar- 
quis del Gallo, ambassador at Vienna from the Neapolitan Court, 
was appointed to represent the empire. He was of middle age, 
shrewd, with an ingenuous countenance, and had found favour 
with the emperor, who, with the permission of the King of Naples, 
had sent him to treat with Bonaparte at Leoben. We considered it 
an honour that a Neapolitan should have been selected to conduct 
the most important affiair in Europe, while it made us confident that 
our interests would not be betrayed or neglected. The war having 
been suspended, the communication between Italy and Germany 
was re-opened ; and the sovereigns of Vienna and Naples, relieved 
from anxiety, were wholly occupied with the journey of the Arch- 
duchess Clementina, who was on her way to marry Prince Francis, 
a union which had been settled seven years before, but not then 
celebrated, on account of the extreme j^outh of both parties. The 
Archduchess was conveyed to Trieste, where a Neapolitan vessel 
awaited her ; her future husband met her at Manfredonia, and the 
religious ceremony was performed at Foggia. The prince was 
accompanied by his royal parents, with an immense suite of 
barons and persons of distinction, and the nuptials having been 
celebrated in June, they returned to Naples in July, where they 
were received amidst the honours due to the heir of the crown. The 
king bestowed rew^ards and gifts on all sides ; General Acton was 
appointed commander-in-chief, which left nothing more for his 
master to bestow, or for him to receive ; forty-four vacancies in 
episcopal sees were filled up, all of which had been long in abey- 
ance, that the government might enjoy their revenues ; and 
offices, titles, and military and civic decorations were dispensed. 
The bride, a lovely young princess, who had hardly passed her 
fifteenth year, had a melancholy cast of countenance, which was 
the more remarkable, and excited the greater pity in tlie midst of 
the general rejoicings. The king bestowed the title of Marquis on 
many of the inhabitants of Foggia, in reward for a surprising 



179(5. FERDINAND IV. 233 

display of magnificence during the festivities at the roval nuptials, 
but this circumstance converted the simple habits of a pastoral 
or agricultural population to the luxurious habits of great mer- 
chants and the indolence of nobles, an indolence the more exces- 
sive, from the change having been so sudden. Thus an ill-judged 
reward, by an accession of dignity, hastened the decline of the city, 
and rapidly produced that which is commonly the slow result of 
vices consequent on great wealth. 

That year the Prince of Paterno was carried into slavery by a 
Tunisian pirate. He was a rich noble, proud of his wealth, and 
was on his way to Naples from Palermo, his native place, expect- 
ing office near the person of the king ; he took his passage in a 
Greek ship, because the vessels of the Ottoman Porte were secure 
from pirates, and there were with him on board several other 
gentlemen, and a merchant in gold and jewels. The cupidity of 
the Greek was excited by so much wealth, and he accordingly 
made a secret bargain with the pirates cruising in the seas of 
Sicily ; they attacked the ship when at a short distance from the 
harbour, and the scoundrels, laden with booty, and elated by their 
success, carried off the passengers into slavery. The prince, from 
his prison among the barbarians, wrote a letter of complaint to the 
king, who ordered his ambassador with the Sultan to demand 
vengeance on the pirates, and still greater and more merited 
punishment on the perfidious Greek. He wrote in affectionate 
terms to Paterno, promising him his royal mediation with the 
Turkish government, assuming a paternal care of his family, and 
exhorting him to bear his slavery with Christian fortitude. The 
reclamations at the Porte produced protestations of friendship and 
zeal on the part of the Sultan ; but the guilty party escaped 
punishment, and the money (two hundred thousand ducats) which 
had been stolen, was not restored, nor the Prince set at liberty 
until a ransom had been paid of a million of piastres, a sum which 
diminished, without consuming, his wealth. 

There was now no war in Italy, except between the French 
and the Pope, who had a large army in readiness under the com- 
mand of the German, General Colli. Camps were formed and 
military works constructed on the frontier ; Pius then wrote to 
the Emperor, declaring his intention to renew hostilities, and 

VOL. I. U 



234 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1796. 

after giving an inventory of his forces, thus concluded : — " If these 
do not suffice, I will add that of God, hy declaring this to he a war 
of religion." The courier was intercepted, and the letter fell into 
the hands of Bonaparte, who published it, and sending informa- 
tion to the Directory, ordered his troops to advance by an edict, 
containing these w^ords : " The Pope refuses to fulfil the terms of 
the armistice, and is slow and unwilling to conclude peace ; he 
raises more soldiers, arms the people for a crusade, and seeks the 
alliance of the House of Austria, thus breaking, violating, and 
trampling upon the treaty which he has sworn to observe. Tlie 
soldiers of the Republic will enter the Roman territory, will de- 
fend the cause of religion, the people, and justice, and woe to him 
who dares to oppose them ! " Tlie Directory meantime wrote to 
Bonaparte, that " the Roman religion being irreconcilable with 
Republican liberty, was the motive for hostility and the support 
of the enemies of France ; he was therefore to destroy the centre 
of Roman unity, and without rousing the fanaticism of the people, 
render the priestly government odious and despicable, so that they 
may be ashamed to obey such rulers, and that the Pope and car- 
dinals may seek an asylum and partisans out of Italy.*' But 
Bonaparte considered that this was not the time, nor were the 
destinies of Rome ripe, to obey this command. 

His French troops, w^ith Italians from the new republics, repulsed 
the Papal troops with great ease, and occupied the three Legations, 
part of the Marches, Perugia, and Foligno. Bonaparte halted 
at Ancona, w^here he was less engaged in plans for the war, than 
in organizing the governments of the new" States ; the Prince di 
Belmonte, arrived from Naples as ambassador, informed him of 
the desire of his king, that the armistice between the Pope and 
the Republic should form the basis of the peace. Bonaparte, 
enumerating the insults offered to France, declared this to be 
impossible, and the prince, from inadvertence or malice, incautiously 
showed him the instructions of his government, where tlie general 
read these words : — " The king is so deeply concerned for the state 
of affairs in Rome, that he intends to advance his army to second 
him in his friendly mediation/' To which Bonaparte replied : 
" Three months ago, I refrained from humbling the pontifical 
pride, because I believed it possible that, at a time when mor 



1797. FERDINAND IV. 235 

important wars would have prevented my answering his challenge, 
tlie King of Naples might liave joined the confederacy against 
France ; but now, without diminishing the armies encamped as a 
precaution against Austria, thirty thousand French who have been 
relieved from the siege of Mantua, and forty thousand just arrived 
from France, are free to act and eager for war. If the King of 
Naples should raise the standard of defiance, tell him I accept his 
challenge/' After thus speaking, he replied in more courteous 
language to the note, saying : " That great as were the offences of 
the Pontiff, the moderation of the Republic was still greater ; he 
was therefore willing to treat for peace ; and after depriving Rome 
of her secular arms, and trusting to the common sense of the age 
to destroy the efficacy of her spiritual weapons, he would be happy 
to acquiesce in the wishes of the sovereigns of Spain and Naples." 
Peace with Rome was soon afterwards concluded at Tolentino ; 
by which the Pontiff, obliged to resign a million in money, with 
horses, arms, and treasures of art and letters, the dominion of the 
Legations, and the fortress of Ancona, was dissatisfied and impo- 
verished, and felt himself outraged. The States which had been 
delivered over to France obtained permission to organize themselves 
peaceably into republics, while the adjoining States obtained the 
same end by violence. In Rome herself, the citizens, though 
destitute of the virtue of their ancestors, remembered the days of 
their past glory, and several times rose in rebellion ; but the mal- 
contents being few, the leaders were no sooner captured than the 
rest dispersed, and the attempt always proved a miserable failure. 
The common people sided with the Pontiff, not from attachment, 
but from blind impulse, and in the hope of dishonest gain and 
impunity. In the month of December it happened that some of 
the patriots (as those were called who held republican opinions), 
pursued by the police, sought an asylum in the house occupied by 
the French embassy, whither they were followed by their pursuers 
and by some of the rabble. The place, usage, the privilege of pro- 
tecting the oppressed, with the French name and honour, were 
sufficient inducements for all belonging to the embassy to shield 
the fugitives ; but neither these considerations, nor the presence 
of persons of distinction, could obtain mercy from the assailants, 
who murdered General Duphot a distinguished officer, and even 



I 



236 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OP NAPLES. 1797. 

threatened the person of the ambassador, Joseph Bonaparte, 
brother of the conqueror of Italy. The city was in an uproar, and 
no attempt was made to suppress the violence of the people, nor 
to discover or punish the assassins of Duphot. The day passed in 
this manner, and though the French ambassador appealed by letters 
to the ministers, he was neither reassured nor promised redress by 
the government. The arms of France were accordingly taken 
down, the French left Rome, and the state of war was resumed. 
The Roman government, alarmed by this hostile attitude, sent 
messengers to the French representative, and wrote to foreign 
potentates, addressing the neighbouring sovereign of the Sicilies 
with fervent and urgent entreaties for support. Nothing, how- 
ever, could appease the wrath of the Directory, and of the French 
and Italian people ; the death of Basville was remembered, with 
tlie intrigues of tlie Vatican, the frequent breach of treaties, and 
failure of promises ; and it was decided, that it was necessary to 
sweep from Italy the source of corruption for so many centuries. 
Vengeance was immediate ; for on the 28th December, Duphot 
perished, and on the 25th January, the French troops, by a com- 
mand from Paris, moved from Ancona upon Rome. 

General Berthier headed the expedition, as Bonaparte, after 
the conclusion of the peace of Campoformio, went to France to 
celebrate his triumph ; but unlike that of the emperors of old (for 
the French Republic had not the wisdom to revive the august 
ceremony of the triumph), it was confined to public laudation and 
welcome. The President of the Directory called him the man sent 
by Providence ; in every meeting, in every society, and amidst the 
multitude, the words inscribed on a banner presented to him by 
the Republic were quoted : " He has defeated five armies, tri- 
umphed in eighteen great battles, and sixty-seven combats ; he 
has taken a hundred and fifty thousand prisoners ; sent home 
a hundred and seventy standards, besides one thousand one hun- 
dred and fifty cannon to the arsenals, two hundred millions to the 
exchequer, fifty men-of-war to our ports, and treasures of arts 
and literature to our galleries and libraries. He has concluded 
nine treaties advantageous to the Republic ; and he has given 
liberty to eighteen different States.'' 

Bonaparte was, however, more intent on commencing another 



1707. FERDINAND IV. 237 

war, and on earning fresh laurels, than on the pleasure of a triumph. 
By the peace of Campoformio, the frontiers of France liad been 
extended, a better defence had been provided on the Alps and the 
Rhine, the Cisalpine Republic had sprung into existence, and the 
foundations had been laid for other republics. Venice was annihi- 
lated ; and the cession of her dominions to the empire, had removed 
the difficulty occasioned by the disparity of territory produced by 
the new frontiers ; the fate of the Venetians indeed was most un- 
happy, but deserved by a degenerate people. The king of the Sicilies 
acknowledged the Cisalpine Republic, and by granting to France 
her natural boundaries, and to Austria, although conquered, a better 
line of frontier in Italy, and more extensive dominions, with a 
greater number of subjects, the peace promised to be permanent ; 
while the only injured parties were some of the princes of the 
Germanic body, who were incapable of carrying on a war, and the 
Venetian Republic, which, already degraded, now ceased to exist. 
The representatives on both sides were rewarded by their govern- 
ments, and were praised by the world, and the Marquis del Gallo, 
who had supported the claims of the empire, returned to Naples, 
rich in gifts and fame. 

But Europe was not yet destined to enjoy peace, wdiich was 
already disturbed by the events of Rome. General Berthier refus- 
ing to listen to the ambassadors of the Pope, and to the deputies 
from the courts of Vienna, Naples, and Spain, made his hostile 
intentions plain. The expiring power of Rome then called on the 
people to prepare for defence, appealing to their superstition by 
processions, prayers, and a jubilee ; and by the discovery of Car- 
dinal Caleppi, that the images of the Virgin, in answer to the tears 
of the priests, shed real tears from the canvas or wood on which 
they were painted. Whilst these processions and miracles were 
occupying the people, an edict of Berthier reached the city, an- 
nouncing the near approach of his army to punish the assassins of 
Duphot and Basville ; but at the same time ready to protect the 
people and their rights, and promising to maintain discipline among 
his troops. Fear and hope, in various degrees, according to the 
views of the different parties, agitated the city. Soon after the 
appearance of the edict, the glistening of arms and the tricolor 
standard was seen above the hills of Rome ; a signal for the liberals 



I 



2o8 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1798. 

to assemble tumultuouslj in the Campo Vaccino, proclaim freedom, 
and raise the tree which was the emblem of liberty. Ambassadors 
from the yet unborn Republic were despatched to meet Berthier, 
and await liis arrival at the gates of Rome, to invite him to enter 
the city, and establish the new order of things upon the sovereign 
rights of the people and the conquest. He made a solemn entry 
into the city with arms and music, amidst the shouts of the popu- 
lace, and decreed that the tyrannical government of the priests 
had ceased, that the Republic of Rome was restored by the de- 
scendants of Brennus, who now gave liberty on the Capitol to the 
descendants of Camillus ; adding dignity to his discourse and 
solemnity to the act, by introducing the names of Brutus, Cato, 
and others, who revived the memory of the past. This was on the 
15th February 1798. In the midst of this excitement Pope Pius 
VI., shut up in the Vatican, and deprived of his government, pas- 
sive and silent, would have served as a model of calmness and 
philosophical resignation, had not the necessity which produced 
his patience subtracted from his claim to merit. He neither pre- 
tended to govern, nor left the city, but remained in Rome, an 
obstacle in the path of the Republic, and a scandal to the Catholic 
Church. When General Cervoni was sent to request him, in his 
character of Pope, to recognise the new state, his answer was pre- 
pared, as follows : " The sovereignty comes to me from God. I am 
not permitted to resign it ; and at the age of eighty, I neither 
regard the safety of my person nor sufferings." As force was re- 
quired to drive him from his throne, the Vatican was invested, the 
pontifical guard were disarmed, the attendants dismissed, a seal 
set on the apartments ; and finally, the Pope was ordered to depart 
within two days. He obeyed, and on the 20 th of that month he 
left Rome with a small retinue for Tuscany. 

To conclude his history : he took up his abode at Sienna, until 
alarmed by earthquakes he left that city for the Carthusian monas- 
tery at Florence ; driven thence by the jealousies and authorita- 
tive commands of the French Republic, he proceeded to Parma, 
thence to Tortona, Turin, and Brianyon. Thus was the Most High 
Pontiff, enfeebled by extreme old age, infirm, and harassed in 
mind, carried prisoner from city to city ; departing before dawn, 
and arriving in the night to conceal him from the eyes of the de- 



i^'>^. FERDINAND IV. 239 

vout. Nor was he permitted to remain in peace at Brian^on, but 
was conveyed to the fortress of Valence ; and from tlience it was 
proposed to take him to Dijon, but he was at length set free by 
death, which carried him oiF on the 29th August 1799. His 
remains were laid in an obscure grave, where they continued until 
by a consular decree, signed by Bonaparte, it was proclaimed 
that: " Considering that the body of Pius vi. has been six months 
without honourable burial ; that although that pontiff while he 
lived was an enemy of the Republic, yet that he may be excused 
on the plea of old age, perfidious councils, and unhappy circum- 
stances ; and that it, is worthy of France to testify her respect 
towards a man who tield the first position on earth ; the Consuls 
decree that the mortal remains of Pius vi. may receive a burial 
befitting a pontiff, and that a monument be erected worthy of his 
name and dignity." The decree was executed, and the ashes were 
carried to Rome and placed in the Church of St. Peter, during the 
pontificate of his successor. 

After the departure of Pius vi., those who had formerly been in 
authority, the cardinals, prelates, and persons of highest distinc- 
tion, fled from Rome. A great many came to Naples to excite 
commiseration for the priesthood and hatred against France. 
French banners, troops, and trees of liberty lined the frontiers 
along the Abruzzi and the Liri ; while robberies and violence were 
everywhere perpetrated, impoverishing the inhabitants, and a real 
tyranny reigned under the name of a Republic. Those who could 
anticipate the future benefits to arise from a free government, were 
willing to tolerate for a time the license of a state of conquest, but 
those who formed their judgment by passing occurrences, and lived 
only for the present, hated and feared the new order of things. 
This nearer view of liberty rather served as a check than an in- 
centive to the Neapolitans to follow the example. General Balait 
came as a messenger from Berthier, to demand of our Government 
the expulsion of the emigrants, the dismissal of the English am- 
bassador, the banishment of General Acton, and a free passage 
through the Neapolitan territory, for those troops destined to gar- 
rison Benevento and Pontecorvo. He added a demand that the 
king, now a vassal of the Roman Republic, as formerly of the 
Church, should present the accustomed tribute annually, and 



240 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. ]798. 

should pay down on the instant a hundred and forty thousand 
ducats, the debt he owed the treasury of the Church at Rome. 
Though this was all that the ambassador alluded to, the king 
knew that his estate of the Farnesina had been sequestrated, as 
the territory of an enemy; and, justly indignant, he rej^lied that 
the two governments would settle their affairs through their repre- 
sentatives, ordered the cities of Benevento and Pontecorvo to be 
occupied by large detachments of his troops, and strengthened the 
frontier lines. Disputes, sequestration of property, and suspicion 
followed ; both parties were on their guard, and all was prepared 
for hostilities. 

Amidst this excitement, tidings reached Sicily that the fleet, 
formerly Venetian, but now French, which had sailed from Corfu, 
was cruising in the Sea of Syracuse, and a few days later, that 
numberless French vessels of war and transport, laden with sol- 
diers and horses, were nearing the ports of the island. It was 
next rumoured they had sailed away, and that the Order of the 
Knights of Jerusalem had been driven from Malta, and that island 
had been seized by the French ; after which, the fleet had imme- 
diately sailed for some new destination ; that Bonaparte had 
embarked on board the ship UOrient, that his design was unknown, 
but that the preparations were on a gigantic scale. Upon this in- 
formation, the government of Naples, more alarmed for Sicily than 
for the rest of the kingdom, caused the ancient fortresses to be re- 
paired, erected new batteries along the coast, increased the defences 
of the ports, garrisoned the island with twenty thousand soldiers 
and forty thousand militia, concerted signals for arming, and settled 
the places where to form encampments. As a further security, 
they contracted new but secret alliances with Austria, Russia, 
England, and the Porte. The four allies were all actuated by one 
motive, the desire for vengeance, though tlie pretext alleged, was 
the re-establishment of peace in Europe. Austria pledged herself 
to furnish sixty thousand soldiers to be quartered in the Tyrol and 
in her Italian provinces, so long as the war should last ; the king 
promised to maintain thirty thousand on his frontiers, and both 
engaged to increase the numbers of their troops, if needed ; four 
Neapolitan frigates were to cruise in the Adriatic, ready for ser- 
vice. This treaty was concluded at Vienna on the 19th May 1798, 



170^ FERDINAND IV, 241 

by the minister Tliugut for Austria, and the Duke di Campocliiaro 
for Naples. 

Tlie Emperor of Russia, Paul i., magnanimously granted a fleet 
free of expense for the protection of Sicily, besides battalions of 
soldiers, two hundred Cossacks, and a corresponding park of field 
artillery, to be placed under the supreme command of the King of 
Naples in Italy. The alliance for a term of eight years, was con- 
cluded at St. Petersburg on the 29th November, by the Marquis 
of Serra Capriola on our side, and by Bezborodko, Kotschoubey, 
and Rostpochin, for Russia. The Emperor was attached to Serra 
Capriola, who had won his favour by his prudence and estimable 
qualities. By the league with England, negotiated in London on 
the 1st December, between the Marquis del Gallo and Sir William 
Hamilton, it was agreed that Great Britain should retain a larger 
fleet than that of the enemy in the Mediterranean ; and that Naples 
should supply four men-of-war, four frigates, and four lesser vessels, 
and should when needed furnish three thousand seamen to the 
English armament in the Mediterranean. Finally, the ancient 
IH'otestations of amity with the Ottoman Porte were renewed; 
the Sultan promising to send ten thousand Albanians, when re- 
quested by the king. 

The anxieties caused by the vicinity of a great war, caused 
no cessation in the unhappy trials ; and the very successes of the 
enemy made the Government more inveterate in their suspicions, 
while the police authorities saw a conspirator in every youth, 
and a sign of conspiracy in every fashion of dress. The hair 
arranged in a peculiar manner, uncurled locks, the beard al- 
lowed to grow, trowsers worn to the feet, certain ribbons, colours, 
or appendages, were severely punished as crimes, entailing impri- 
sonment and persecution, as for treason. The dungeons were 
therefore full of victims, whole families in mourning, and the 
people in a state of alarm. This panic was increased by the mys- 
tery maintained respecting the crimes and their punishments. 
Some of the prisoners had been heard, but others were left with- 
out examination, while none were allowed legal defence. 

A new law decreed that the infamy attached to crime, or the 
punishment for treason, was not to extend to the family of the 
accused, but to be confined to the guilty person. Although it was 

VOL. I. X 



242 HISTOKY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1798. 

forbidden to defend or plead tlieir cause anywhere, but especially 
in the palace, two ladies, the mothers of two of the prisoners, 
the Duchess of Cassano and the Princess Colonna, the first 
of great age, the other just past her youth, and both of them 
mirrors of ancient virtue, overwhelmed by their sorrow, went in 
mourning to the queen, and together entreated her in broken 
accents to this effect : " Your Majesty may as a mother feel for 
our grief, the mothers of unfortunate children who have now been 
languishing four years in dungeons, and we hardly know whether 
they are alive. Their families wear mourning, and whether parents, 
sisters or kindred, we take no repose, nor has a smile been seen on 
our lips since that first fatal night. Have pity on us, and restore 
us our children and our peace of mind, and God will reward you for 
this mercy, by the happiness of your own children."" " Were they 
guilty ?" asked the queen. Eager to reply, both ladies exclaimed, 
" Their innocence is proved by the silence of the inquisitors, by 
the tender age of our sons, by the purity of their lives, their piety 
towards God, their obedience to us, and tliat no stain or fault, not 
even the trifling errors which may be pardoned in inexperienced 
youths, can be laid to their charge.'' They could add no more, but 
overcome by tlieir grief, took leave. The queen was more moved 
by the heart-rending looks and noble character of these ladies than 
by their words ; and though not disposed to pardon the accused 
if guilty, began to believe in their innocence. Inflexible towards 
crime, she had no desire to persecute the innocent, diftering in 
this respect from her agents, who derived their power and in- 
fluence from the general miseiy. Ferdinand and Caroline sincerely 
believed those who had been arrested were traitors, and could not 
at this period be charged with injustice, though a few months later 
when they w^ere no longer deceived but had their eyes opened, 
while putting their subjects to the torture, innocent and guilty 
alike, they were actuated by the spirit of party and an insatiable 
thirst for power. 

But in 1798, their minds and hearts were as yet less hard, 
and the king having been informed of the words of these two 
ladies, ordered the Junta of State to expedite the proces of those 
accused of treason, who had now been languishing in the prison? 
four years ; " by which justice had been suspended, an examph 
productive of serious mischief, and perhaps occasioning unmeritec 



1798. FERDINAND IV. 243 

suffering to our unliappy subjects/' The style of tliese commands 
breathing pity was so new and unexpected that they alarmed the 
Junta, for all alike tremble under a despotic government, those 
who exercise, as well as those who are forced to suffer oppression. 
The two chief inquisitors, Castelcicala and. Vanni, accordingly met 
in consultation. Nothing had been proved in the proems, and fear- 
ing the anger of the sovereigns, the popular outcry, and the venge- 
ance of the accused, they agreed to shield themselves by resorting 
to violent and desperate measures. When, on the following day, 
they met in court, the king's message was read aloud to all, and 
they were desired to expedite their report, when Vanni observed : 
" The proces, which dre at least equal in number to the accused, 
are now completed as far as the inquisitor is concerned ; but to be 
wholly satisfactory, the proof by torture is still wanting, which 
wise legislators have enjoined as indispensable in crimes of treason, 
and even where there is an abundance of other proofs. This 
mode of extracting evidence is therefore in accordance witli law, 
and is the more necessary in the present conjuncture, because we 
have to deal w4th criminals resolved on denying the truth or 
maintaining silence, as a promise of secresy common to all seals the 
lips of these wretches, but the force of justice and torture will 
unloose their tongues, kept silent by an unrighteous oath. I, 
armed with the authority granted me by my king, as inquisitor 
and procurator-fiscal, demand that the principal criminals, the 
Chevalier Luigi de' Medici, the Duke di Canzano, the Abate Teo- 
doro Monticelli, and Michele Sciaronne, shall be put to the trial of 
torture after the severest manner prescribed by law, under the for- 
mula torqueri acriter adhihitis quatuor faniculis ; after which act, 
the proceeding having been completed, I shall ask in the name of 
my king for such farther examinations as I shall consider necessary 
to establish the integrity of the evidence. Do not, gentlemen, 
from any weak scruple, hesitate to put criminals to the torture, 
whom you yourselves will shortly condemn to a greater and still 
more merited suffering, when we cease to discuss the proces, and 
treat of the final sentence." Starting from his seat, Vanni turned his 
sallow and stony features, with eyes which glared like those of a 
wild beast, round upon the assembly, and added : " It is now two 
months since I have slept, less from the labour of these proems, than 



244 HISTORY OF THE KIKGDOM OF NAPLES. 1798. 

from anxiety for the dangers incurred by my sovereign, and yet you, 
gentlemen, can feel pity for such perfidious wretches, who, if aided 
by fortune and not overtaken by justice, would have subverted all 
held most sacred ; therefore, repeating my proposal, that the prin- 
cipal criminals should be put to the torture, I exhort you to act with 
justice and loyalty towards the king, and with that courage which 
is the noblest attribute in judges called upon to save a kingdom/' 
The magistrate, Mazzocchi, president of the junta, replied toYanni: 
" The words, my sovereign, are ever on your lips, and under a 
pretence of zeal, you conceal violence and pride ; from henceforth 
it were better to say our sovereign ;" then turning to the judges, he 
asked their vote on the motion of Yanni, which was unanimously 
rejected, as barbarous and useless, since the inquisitors had so 
often sifted the proofs ; and the crimes and criminals were already 
clearly established. One voice alone, that of the Prince di 
Castelcicala, was raised in a menacing tone, while supporting the 
arguments of the inquisitor, and adding his own, he declared the 
^demand for torture to be just and necessary, and denounced the 
decision of tlie judges as weak and criminal ; he tried to rouse 
their consciences and fears by declaring that the king would take 
vengeance on them, and he employed all the arts of seduction 
which he himself has perhaps now forgotten, but which, recorded 
in history, will hand his name down from age to age with merited 
infamy. Castelcicala des-ired the torture of Medici in the hope that 
he would die under it from shame and misery, or that if he sur- 
vived he would be rendered incapable of continuing in office, if for 
no other reason, from the disgraceful nature of his punishment. But 
the majority of the judges were firm in their vote, and the Junta 
replied to the royal message, that tlie proems were completed 
according to law, and were as ample as the ingenuity and skill 
of the inquisitors could devise. Nothing was now wanting but the 
final trial, as this Junta had only been appointed for the purpose 
of inquiry. The king accordingly framed another Junta, in whicb 
Yanni was again appointed procurator-fiscal. The procfes whic? 
had been declared complete, and which were now sent up for dis- 
cussion, included the cases of twenty-eight accused persons, amon^ 
whom were the names of men of high birth, such as Medici, Can 
zano, Di Gennaro, Colonna, Cassano ; and of others distinguishec 



I7ys. FERDINAND IV. 245 

for learning, Mario Pagano, Ignazio Ciaja, Domenico Bisceglie, and 
Teodoro Monticelli. The procurator-fiscal began with stating the 
accusations, the nature of the crimes, and the proofs which had 
been collected ; he proceeded to expatiate upon them, and taking 
the part against tlie accused, passed over in silence all that 
might have been said in their favour, and demanded death for five, 
to be preceded by torture, " without mercy, as upon dead bodies," 
both to increase their punishment, and to extract from them the 
names of accomplices or abettors. For reasons already stated, but 
which he now repeated with greater vehemence, he proposed only 
torture to be applied. to Medici and three others pointed out by 
the Junta of inquiry. For nineteen more, prolonged imprison- 
ment and further examination, in the hope of extracting more 
ample proofs by confessions under torture and from time. The 
advocates pleaded the cause of the accused, and although they 
were men appointed by the king, and devotedly attached to the 
monarchy, they were interrupted by a torrent of abuse from Yanni, 
but courageously supported the side of the accused. The judges 
gave a just sentence, acquitting the prisoners, and restoring them 
to liberty. Such a general outcry of sympathy was raised by the 
appearance of these twenty-eight persons leaving their penal dun- 
geons, by the proof of the injustice of their imprisonment, by the 
death of some of the unhappy victims, and by the account of 
their sufferings, that the Government, in order to exculpate them- 
selves, joined their voice of indignation to that of the people, and 
pointing to Vanni as the author of the ftilse accusations, deposed 
him from his office, banished him from the city, and overwhelmed 
him with every mark of disgrace. The Prince di Castelcicala, his 
associate in guilt, escaped by throwing all the blame on his un- 
fortunate friend. General Acton pretended to retire from the 
burdens of State, and another set of men and other forms were 
introduced in the Cabinet ; but the policy of the government was 
unaltered. The dungeons were relieved of a few prisoners, but 
were replenished with more, and bad men continued to be retained 
in the pay of the government, as neither the system of spies, police, 
nor informers were abolished, nor even their numbers diminished ; 
Castelcicala was minister of justice, and large stipends and conso- 
latory promises were secretly sent to Vanni. 



■ 



246 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1798. 

In the midst of these unhappy occurrences in the city, news 
arrived tliat the French fleet had reached Egypt, and that Bona- 
parte had landed with forty thousand soldiers, and was on his 
way to Alexandria. The aim of this enterprise being thus disco- 
vered, the fears of the Neapolitan government were relieved by 
seeing the danger removed from Sicily ; and they welcomed and 
spread a report invented by malice, that this was a stratagem of 
the Directory to rid the Republic of an ambitious and powerful 
man, by sending him to a country where he must either lose his 
reputation or his life by the number of the enemy, and a pestiferous 
and invincible climate. A few days later arrived tidings of the 
battle of Aboukir, in which by a bold manoeuvre the English ad- 
miral Nelson, had seized and burnt the ships of France, which had 
anchored in the roadstead after the disembarkation of the troops, 
and unwisely deemed themselves secure from attack. Several 
ships of the line escaped to Malta, and a few of the transport ships 
sought refuge in the Sicilian roadsteads of Trapani and Girgenti, 
where the inhabitants, unfaithful to the treaty, pitiless towards 
the misfortunes of the French, and deaf to the claims of hospita- 
lity, received them as enemies, refused them shelter, plundered the 
miserable remnant of those who had been defeated, murdered some 
of the seamen, and drove the rest from their coasts. In Naples, 
meanwhile, the particulars of the battle were joyfully announced. 
Soon afterwards an Englisli fleet, the same which had conquered 
at Aboukir, increased by the captured ships which without a flag- 
followed in the wake of their proud conquerors, was seen making 
sail towards our coasts. Immediately the king, the queen, and 
the English ambassador with his wife, went out a long way to meet 
the victor, in ships decorated as for a festival, and went on board 
his vessel to do him honour. The king presented him with a 
rich sword, and loaded him with so many words of commenda- 
tion, that he could not have said more had the victory been that 
of his own fleet, for the salvation of the kingdom ; the queen pre- 
sented him with costly gifts, and among them a jewel, with the 
motto, " To the hero of Aboukir ;" the ambassador, Sir William 
Hamilton, thanked him in the name of England, and his beautiful 
lady expressed her deep-felt admiration. All Naples hastened to 
the palace, and the city was in a tumult of joy. In the evening 



1798. FERDINAND IV. 247 

the great theatre was illuminated, as was usual on occasions of 
national or royal rejoicings. When the king and queen entered, 
accompanied hy Nelson, the people received them with loud cheers, 
mingling the sounds of their names and deeds. The queen, the 
ladies of the court, and the nobility, wore ribbons or jewelled 
girdles, with the inscription, " Long live Nelson." Meantime the 
victorious ships and the captured vessels dropped their anchors in 
the port, contrary to the terms of the treaty ; and the ambassador 
of France, Garat, who had been a spectator of all which had taken 
place, and of the contempt with which the conditions of peace 
between the two governments had been treated, then thought it 
time to make a well-grounded complaint to the ministers of Naples, 
but was answered that the English ships had been thus received 
only because Admiral Nelson had threatened to bombard the city, 
if anchorage had been refused ; and no apology nor explanation 
followed for the public demonstrations of joy at the success of 
the enemy. 



248 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1798. 



CHAPTER III. 

DISASTROUS WAR WITH THE FRENCH REPUBLIC — INSURRECTIONS IN THE 
KINGDOM — FLIGHT OF THE KING — VICTORY AND TRIUMPH OF THE 
ARMS OF FRANCE. 

1798—1799. 

A NEW confederation against France having been formed in 
Europe, and immediate war resolved on, the Neapolitan govern- 
ment threw off all disguise. The kings of England, Austria, Rus- 
sia, and the Sicilies, finding the French troops were diminished in 
Italy to increase the army of the Rhine, or sent into Egypt, and 
that Bonaparte was removed to a distance, collected fresh armies 
and prepared for greater operations. Germany agreed to send 
sixty thousand men to Lombardy, with Russian troops in their 
rear, and Naples promised forty thousand, whilst the English fleet 
was to cruise in the seas of Italy. Great Britain was to supply 
the allies with money, arms, and clothing, and the armies only 
waited until the severest months of winter had passed. 

In September 1 798 a fresh levy of forty thousand conscripts 
had been raised in Naples, but in such haste, that, setting aside 
law and justice, citizens were taken from the com.munes, and 
sons from their families, at the arbitrary bidding of the ministers 
or to satisfy the exigency of the hour. In a single day, the 2d 
September, every commune, without receiving previous intima- 
tion, and without inquiring into their capabilities, was obliged to 
furnish eight men in every thousand souls ; the consequence of 
which arbitrary treatment was an infinity of malpractices and 
blunders followed by great dissatisfaction and complaints. The 
conscripts, remembering the injustice to which they had been sub- 
jected, considered themselves the victims of superior force, and not 
feeling bound to the army by duty, by their oaths, or by law, only 



1798. PEllDINAND IV. 249 

continued to serve from the fear of punishment The new levy 
added to tlic old soldiers, raised the numbers of the army to seventy- 
five thousand ; more than enough to fulfil the terms of the alliance, 
tliough falling short of what was expected. These numerous troops 
were in want of a leader, when General Mack arrived from Austria. 
Ho was celebrated in the wars of Germany, where although always 
defeated he had acquired a reputation for military science and valour. 
Received with honour by the king, the court, and the army, he 
reviewed the troops in separate detachments, while neglecting the 
frontiers, as he was less intent on defence than conquest. He con- 
sulted General Parisi on the plan of the campaign. General de 
Gambs on the state of the infantry, the princes of Saxony and 
Philipstadt on the cavalry, and General Fonseca on the artillery. 
He spoke little, but his words were echoed from mouth to mouth, 
as the responses of an oracle ; and he told the king, who implicitly 
believed him, that he possessed an army ready prepared for war. 

The queen, who was restlessly impatient, proposed at once to 
invade the Roman territory, and she was supported in this view 
by the English, because, resolved on war, they feared the Congress 
already convoked to meet at Rastadt, might lead to peace : since 
September, therefore, Baron Auerweck, a gentleman in the confi- 
dence of Pitt, had been in Na2)les ; though only an obscure traveller, 
he possessed great influence, as the friend of Repnin, minister of 
Prussia,^ and of Metternich of Austria ; he was among the first 
to sow discord in the conferences at Rastadt, and had the ear of 
the king and queen of Naj^les. Ferdinand, whose eager desire 
for repose had cooled, since rage and fear had led him in some 
degree to abandon his life of sensual indulgence, called a council 
to decide upon war or peace, and if war, the time and means. 
Opinions differed ; the Marquis del Gallo, the Minister de Marco, 
the Generals Pignatelli, Colli, and Parisi were for peace ; but the 
influence of tlie queen, and the opinions of Acton, Mack, and Cas- 
telcicala, carried the day, and instant war was decided on, to be 
conducted by General Mack, but not declared until the troops had 
begun to move. The army was divided into three camps ; twenty- 

^ Bepnin. Prince Nicolai "Wasiliewitscli at Berlin. — See Sclilosser, Geschichte der 
Ikcpnin was not Prussian minister, but xviii.ten Jahrhundert, vol. vi. p. 153. 
Russian agent from the Emperor Paul 



250 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1798. 

two thousand soldiers were ordered to stand prepared at San Ger- 
mano ; sixteen thousand in the Abruzzi, and eight thousand in the 
plain of Sessa ; while six thousand more remained in quarters at 
Gaeta ; and transport ships were made ready to sail for Leghorn. 
General Mack took the command of the first camp, General Miche- 
roux was appointed to the second, and General Bamas to the third, 
while General Naselli was placed at the head of the expedition to 
sail from Gaeta. Fifty-two thousand soldiers were ready at a signal 
to burst into the Roman States, but their commander-in-chief was 
a foreigner and strange to them ; his generals were either likewise 
foreigners or ignorant of war, the officers inexperienced and the 
new conscripts dissatisfied ; while the old soldiers were in a still 
worse condition, from habits engendered by defective discij)line 
and a life of idleness and license : they had no military habits ; 
the rules by whicli soldiers are dispersed in their quarters, the 
means to provide shelter against tlie inclemency of the weather, 
to secure as much repose as possible, to prepare food, or, in short, 
the whole art of living under any circumstances, so necessary to 
support the strength of the men, was neither practised nor under- 
stood. The commissariat department was so badly conducted, 
that it increased the disorder ; the distribution of food was uncer- 
tain, and the quantity brought to the camps was not commensu- 
rate to the demand ; so that abundance was often found where 
the consumers were few, while there was a scarcity in the adjoining 
quarters : a secret poison was stealing through the army in the 
shape of mutual distrust between the subordinates and their chiefs. 
The soldiers stationed in the Abruzzi were divided in three camps ; 
upon the Tronto, the Aquihi, and at Tagliacozzo. The troops in the 
camp of San Germane were constantly exercised; and although the 
ground in autumn was soft and muddy, from the heavy rains, 
attacks and defences were carried on as in war. The king had 
taken up his quarters in this camp, prepared to march with the 
army ; and the queen, attired in a riding-habit, constantly drove 
along the lines in a chariot and four, accompanied by the ambas- 
sadors from friendly sovereigns, and other foreigners of distinction, 
the barons of the kingdom, and Lady Hamilton, who, under pre- 
tence of escorting her Majesty, displayed her own beauty in all its 
magnificence to the camp, and paraded her conquest over the 



i:!)S. FERDINAND IV. 251 

victor of Aboiikir, who, seated beside her in the same carriage, 
appeared fascinated and submissive to her cliarms. Nor were the 
troops in the quarters at Sessa and in the fortress at Gaeta allowed 
to remain idle ; but though continually at exercise, time was 
wanting to train them into good soldiers. It was found that 
men whose hands had been inured to the rude labour of the pick- 
axe, raised by conscription in September, and forced to join in 
October, were yet unskilled in the use of arms, when sent into 
active service in November. 

When the French saw the preparations of the King of Naples, 
they disposed their troops along the frontier, so as to form a 
line of defence, their centre being at Terni, their extreme right 
at Terracina, and their extreme left at Fermo ; the left wing was 
strengthened for resistance, while the right was only to be employed 
as a corps of observation, and was therefore formed less for defence 
than retreat ; their principal duty being to maintain their forces 
together, and secure the roads leading into Lombardy ; after 
which they were ordered to wait the turn of events. 

War being thus certain, although not yet declared, the French 
ambassador asked the reason of these preparations on the part 
of the Neapolitan Government, who, still dissembling, rej^lied 
that the troops were placed on the Neapolitan frontiers because 
the frontiers on the Roman side were occupied by French soldiers, 
and that the camps were formed to train the new levies, but that 
Naples continued to desire peace with the Republic. A few days 
later, on the 22d December, appeared a royal manifesto, in which, 
after alluding to the convulsions in France, the political changes 
in Italy, the vicinity of the foes to monarchy and peace, the seizure 
of Malta (a fief of the King of Sicily), the flight of the Pontiff, 
and the dangers to religion, declared, that for these numerous 
and cogent reasons, the king meant to lead an army into the 
Roman States, in order to restore their lawful sovereign to the 
people, the head of the Church to the Holy See, and peace to the 
inhabitants of the Sicilies. This was not a war against a European 
potentate, and the king, therefore, exhorted foreign armies not to 
oppose the Neapolitan troops, which only intended to advance as 
far as was necessary to effect their object, in restoring peace 
to that part of Italy. He conjured the Roman people to show 



252 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1798. 

themselves friendly towards the Neapolitans, to be ready to rise 
at his bidding, and rely on his clemency ; and he promised to 
receive the wanderers from the right path with paternal indul- 
gence, provided they voluntarily submitted themselves to justice 
and the laws. 

Besides this manifesto, letters from the ministers of the Crown 
were sent privately to the other cabinets of Italy, and to all who 
were exposed to danger from the hostility of the French, and the 
war. One of these letters, addressed by the Prince Belmonte 
Pignatelli to the Chevalier Priocca, minister of the king of Pied- 
mont, was intercepted and published ; it contained, among other 
important matters, these words : " We are aware that in the cabi- 
net of the king your master, there are many prudent, not to say 
timid ministers, who shrink with horror from the words perjury and 
assassination, as if the recent treaty of alliance between France 
and Sardinia were a political act worthy of respect. Was it not 
dictated by the superior force of the conqueror? Was it not 
accepted only because you were obliged to yield to necessity ? 
Treaties such as these, are insults to the fallen from those in 
power; and by violating them, you only seize the first O|)por- 
tunity presented by fortune to regain your former position. How 
can you, in the presence of your king, a prisoner in his capital, 
surrounded by hostile bayonets, call it perjury to break promises 
wrung from you by necessity, and disapproved of by your con- 
sciences ; and is it assassination to exterminate your tyrants ? 
Are there no lawful means by which the weak may resist the 
force by which they are oppressed ?" And a few lines farther on : 
" The French battalions trusting in the peace, careless and 
secure, are scattered throughout Piedmont. Rouse the patriotism 
of the people to enthusiasm and fury; let every Piedmontese 
aspire to the honour of trampling down an enemy of his country. 
These partial massacres will be of more advantage to Piedmont 
than successful battles ; nor will the justice of posterity stigmatize 
with the hideous name of treachery, tlie energetic deed of a whole 
people, who march over the corpses of their oppressors to the 
recovery of their liberty. 

*•' Our brave Neapolitans, conducted by the valiant General 
Mack, will be the first to sound the tocsin against the enemies of 



iros. FERDINAND IV. 253 

thrones and the people. They will perhaps have already begun to 
move wlien this despatch reaches you/' 

Such were the atrocious purposes revealed in these despatches ; 
and the manifesto of war having been already published, the 
Neapolitan troops, raising their camps, poured into the States of 
Rome. General Micheroux with ten thousand men forded the 
Tronto, and driving a small French garrison from the city of 
Ascoli, advanced by the Strada Emilia upon Fermo ; Colonel San- 
filippo with four thousand men left the camp of Aquila to occupy 
Rieti, and approached Terni ; Colonel Giustini, with a regiment of 
infantry and a small body of horse, descended from Tagliacozzo to 
Tivoli, and scoured' the Sabine country ; while General Mack, 
accompanied by the king and twenty-two thousand soldiers, left 
San Germane and marched by the difficult roads of Ceperano and 
Frosinone upon Rome, towards which General Damas was con- 
ducting eight thousand men from the camp of Sessa by the Via 
Pontina. That same day several ships, having six thousand sol- 
diers on board under the command of General Naselli, set sail 
from Gaeta for Leghorn. The order of march described, proves 
that the army of Naples did not advance in line, and had no 
centre of operations ; the troops of Sanfilippo and Giustini were 
too weak to allow the right and left wings to communicate. The 
corps under Micheroux, though an insufficient force, w^as to attack 
the French left, which was the strongest of the three divisions of 
their army, and the main force of the Neapolitans, thirty thousand 
men, was proceeding to the attack of the right wing of the 
enemy, which was w^eakly formed, and had orders to retreat. 
Mack proposed to defeat the extremities of the French lines, to 
throw them into disorder, and drive one corps back upon another, 
thus create confusion in the centre and put them to the rout, 
whilst the legion of General Naselli, uniting with the Tuscan 
insurgents, w^ould attack the flank of the French army in its flight 
towards Perugia. The conformation of the frontier, the extended 
line of the French army, their base of operations in Lombardy, 
and the number of our forces being almost three times that of the 
enemy, invited us rather to break their centre, and prevent them 
receiving succour by attacking their camp upon its flank, and if 
favoured by fortune, cut off" their retreat into Lombardy. To efi*ect 



254 HISTOEY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1798. 

this, the army should have been divided into three corps, — twenty- 
six thousand men at Aquila to attack Rieti and Terni, twelve 
thousand upon the Strada Emilia to engage the left wing of the 
French, and eight thousand in the Pontine marslies to press upon 
the small divisions of the enemy's right wing, whilst the legion of 
Tuscany, without an enemy to contend with, and the people on 
their side, could have traversed the country as far as Perugia, and 
been prepared to assist if required in the various chances of war. 
The inexperienced and raw troops of Naples could only thus, by 
strategical skill and the weight of their numbers, have been 
enabled to subdue the disciplined and successful army of France. 
The final result of the war would have eventually depended on the 
risings prepared in Piedmont, and on the arrival of the Germans 
in Italy. 

Reason and science would have advised this course ; but now 
let us turn to facts. The corps of Mack and Danias, thirty 
thousand men, marching in parallel lines, without encountering 
tlie enemy, who was hastily retreating, arrived on the 29th No- 
vember in Rome, where the king made his entry in state, and took 
up his abode in his own palace, the Farnesina. The French, after 
leaving a small garrison in the castle of St. Angelo, had departed, 
and with them the leaders and friends of the Republic ; a few, 
rashly trusting to the royal promises of mercy, lingered behind, 
and were that same day thrown into prison or put to death ; two 
brothers of the name of Corona, Neapolitans and liberals, who had 
remained, confiding too much in their king, were by his command 
seized and executed. The rabble let loose pillaged the houses in 
the name of religion and loyalty to the pontiff, murdered tlie 
citizens, drowned several Jews in the Tiber, and were guilty of 
many crimes, to the disgrace of the conqueror, who at length 
appointed the Princes Borghese and Gabrielli, and the Marquises 
Massimi and Ricci, to form a junta of safety, which though too 
late checked the excesses of the mob. All signs of the late 
Republic disappeared ; the cross rose where the tree of liberty 
had stood, and the emblems and arms of the Pontiff with those of 
the King of the Sicilies, were raised on the towers and public 
edifices. Messengers were sent to Naples witli the news of the 
victory, and to order solemn prayers and thanksgivings in the 



1798. FERDINAND IV. 255 

churches ; and despatches were written to the Pope containing 
words as follows : " Your Holiness will learn by this letter, that 
aided by the Divine grace and by the miraculous interposition of 
St. Januarius, we have with our army this day triumphantly 
entered the sacred city of Rome, so lately profaned by impious 
men, who have fled terrified by the appearance of the Cross and 
by my arms : your Holiness may therefore resume the supreme 
and paternal power, which I will shield w^ith my army. Leave 
then your too modest abode in the Carthusian monastery, and 
like our Lady of Loretto borne upon the wings of the cherubim, 
descend into the Vatican and purify it with your holy presence. 
All is prepared for 'your reception ; and your Holiness may cele- 
brate Divine service on the day of our Saviour's birth." A third 
despatch in the name of the king, was written by his minister 
Prince Belmonte Pisrnatelli to the ministers of the kinof of Sar- 
dinia, to inform them, among other matters, — " That the Neapoli- 
tans; led by General Mack, had been the first to toll the knell of 
the French, and to apprise Europe from the summit of the Capitol, 
that the hour of the sovereigns is now arrived. Unhappy Pied- 
montese, shake off your chains, break them in pieces, and crush 
your oppressors ; answer to the invitation of the king of Naples.'" 
These gasconades will give some idea of the blind rage and vanity 
of the king and his minister. 

While these despatches were yet on their way, the enemy was 
obtaining successes in the Abruzzi. General Micheroux, his 
forces somewhat diminished by disasters and sickness, arrived in 
the vicinity of Fermo with nine thousand soldiers, and found the 
French troops under the command of Generals Mounier, Rusca, 
and Casabianca, prepared for their reception, and ranged in order 
of battle ; the fight commencing, the result was neither doubtful 
nor slow, for as the numbers were equal, the French superior in 
the use of arms, and the Neapolitans badly officered and mistrust- 
ful of their leaders, these last took to flight, leaving a few dead 
upon the field, and many prisoners, besides guns and standards. 
The remnant of the column sought shelter in the mountains of the 
Abruzzi, whore a small detachment of the enemy sufficed to keep 
them at bay, the larger number of the French having already 
departed to reinforce the centre and right wing of their line. 



256 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1798. 

Towards this centre Colonel Sanfilippo was advancing, after having 
obtained possession of Rieti without opposition ; he was proceed- 
ing along the defile of Terni, guarded by General Lemoine with a 
small detachment, when the arrival of General Dufresse to the aid 
of the French with half a brigade, consisting of two thousand four 
hundred men, made the forces equal on either side, and the fate 
of Sanfilippo, like that of Micheroux, proved disastrous. Colonel 
Giustini was stopped at Vicovaro bj General Kellerman, and 
applied for assistance to the troops of Sanfilippo, but learning that 
their leader was a prisoner, that his men had fled, and that Rieti 
was again in the hands of the French, he hastened along the 
banks of the Tiber, and thence to Tivoli. 

The French army which had all this time engaged the Neapoli- 
tans with equal numbers, and, as was to be expected, always con- 
quered, had thus secured the safety of their left wing ; and no 
longer obliged to communicate by circuitous routes, but proceed- 
ing by the direct road, they re-formed their right in Civita Cas- 
tellana, and in the adjoining mountains, where they took up a 
strong position, from the nature of the ground and the fortifica- 
tions. They were seven thousand men with two thousand volun- 
teers, all ready to conquer, or if necessary to die, and commanded 
by General Macdonald, already distinguished in the wars of Ger- 
many and Italy. Behind them at some distance, and with the 
rugged mountains of the Apennines bet\veen him and them, 
hovered the commander-in-chief. General Championnet, who hav- 
ing left General Duhesme with six thousand soldiers to conquer 
in the Abruzzi, advanced with another eight thousand to the aid 
of Macdonald. A small squadron was placed in the city of 
Perugia as a vidette, to watch the movements of the legion landed 
at Leghorn, and the expected risings of the people. But neither 
the Neapolitan soldiers, nor the efforts of the English, nor the 
hatred of the people, availed against the French in Tuscany. On 
the 20th September, the fleets of Naples and England, confident 
in their numbers, arrived at Leghorn, and asked permission to 
land their soldiers and cannon. The Tuscan government, at that 
time at peace with France, submitted to superior force, or pre- 
tended to do so, and issued a manifesto, by which they declared, 
that they suffered the disembarkation of the soldiers, not from 



1798. FERDINAND IV. 257 

any contempt of the neutrality, but from inability to offer any re- 
sistance, and further, that they intended to maintain their inde- 
pendence, and commit their rights to justice and to God. By another 
edict, tliey increased the army, raised a militia, provided for the 
security of the subjects, and then waited the termination of the war 
in Rome. General Naselli remained stationary, waiting, as he had 
been ordered, the commands of Mack, who, incapable of carrying 
out strategical combinations on an extended scale, and perplexed 
by the rapidity of his own success, forgot that legion of at least six 
thousand soldiers, who were idling their time at Leghorn. Mack 
and the king were for the first time enjoying the pleasures of a 
triumph in Rome ; Sand as if the war were ended, they allowed five 
days to elapse without taking any steps against Macdonald ; 
only demanding the surrender of the castle of St. Angelo, and 
sending threatening messages to the garrison. The words of the 
challenge sent by Lieutenant Bourcard to Lieutenant-Colonel 
Walter, commanding in the fort, are worthy of remembrance: 
*' The French soldiers invalided in the hospitals of Rome shall be 
retained as hostages, and every cannonade from the castle shall 
cost the life of one of them in reprisal, or he shall be consigned to 
the just fury of the people.'* A copy of this challenge, signed by 
Mack, was sent to General Championnet, and published by him 
to the French army, increased the barbarities incident to war. 
The castle refusing to surrender, both sides commenced firing, but 
only random shots ; and on the .3d December the army of Naples 
withdrew from Rome. Six thousand soldiers remained to guard 
the king, and as the troops of Colonel Giustini had rejoined the 
army, twenty-five thousand men advanced against Civita Cas- 
tellana. 

They were formed into five corps. Any leader but Mack 
(taught a lesson, if by nothing else, by the events of this cam- 
paign) would have summoned the legion of Naselli from Tuscany 
to advance upon Perugia, would have conducted the main body of 
his army along the left bank of the Tiber, and encamped at Terni, 
where he might have engaged the small detachment of Macdonald 
with three times their number, before Championnet could have 
descended from the Apennines. But in place of this, the head- 
strong commander-in-chief of the ill-fated Neapolitans sent a hand- 

VOL. I. Y 



258 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1798. 

ful of soldiers along the Tiber, and divided tlie remaining twentj- 
two tliousand in four corps, vvliicli after a few skirmishes encamped 
at Calvi, Monte-Buono, Otricoli, and Regnano ; and for five days 
continued inactive in tliese positions, or attacked the enemy's 
camp in separate detachments. What Mack lioped thereby to 
effect remains a mystery. But the French general, who was at 
first prepared to act on the defensive, altered his plan, and attacked 
our camps one after the other. All were defeated and fled before 
him, as he assaulted each separately with equal or superior forces, 
and greater skill and good fortune. The first to fall was Otricoli, 
the next Calvi, and the last Monte-Buono. General Mack had 
diminished the camp at Regnano, by withdrawing the greater 
number of the troops to unite them with those who were re-ascend- 
ing the right bank of the Tiber, intending to establish them at 
Cantalupi. This idea was the only scheme worthy of praise during 
the campaign ; but hearing on the road of the disasters which had 
befallen his troops, he ordered the general to retreat upon Rome. 
This was the 13th December, and the Neapolitans had during the 
eight preceding days been weakened by severe engagements, all 
of which had redounded to the honour of the French arms, and 
with a loss to us of a thousand men killed, nine hundred wounded, 
ten thousand prisoners, thirty cannon, nine standards, besides 
horses, muskets, and an immense quantity of materiel. At Otricoli 
alone they had been successful for a few hours, as they had sur- 
prised the French garrison of two hundred men, killed the larger 
number and taken the rest prisoners ; either by the barbarity of 
the inhabitants or by chance the hospital caught fire, and the 
sick perished in the flames, giving rise to a report that the fero- 
cious challenge sent by General Bourcard was not a mere menace 
but a reality. This false tale was believed by the French, and added 
ferocity to the crimes inherent in war. The retreat of Mack com- 
menced that same day. The Neapolitans, always defeated, always 
unfortunate, and led by foreigners, with many French generals and 
colonels in their ranks, most of whom were emigrants eager to 
escape the dangers of a prison, and therefore hastening the retreat, 
suspected they were betrayed, and like all armies credulous of evil, 
called their leaders Jacobins, and became disorderly ; from that 
moment subordination decreased or was at an end. To these evils 



179& FERDINAND IV. 259 

were added scarcity of provisions, the ignorance and frauds of the 
commissariat, the loss of convoys, and magazines abandoned or 
plundered by the licentious and mutinous soldiery. 

When these news reached Rome, the people either sincerely in 
favour of a republic, or from prudence, showed themselves inclined 
for the French. King Ferdinand, therefore, a coward at heart, and 
who from the 7th had taken up his quarters at Albano, became 
alarmed, and on the evening of the 10th fled in the direction of 
Naples. He told the Duke d'Ascoli, who was in attendance upon 
him, that the Jacobins aimed at his life, and had sworn to kill all 
kings, and assured him that it would be an honour for a subject to 
expose his own life to save that of his sovereign ; he then persuaded 
him to change dresses with him, and assume his deportment, so that 
during the journey he might pass for the king, and he himself for 
his attendant. The courtier was delighted, and attired in the 
royal garments, sat on the right in the carriage, whilst the king, 
taught by his fears, showed him the utmost respect, and paid him 
the homage of a subject. Ferdinand arrived in this humiliating 
disguise at Caserta, on the evening of the 11th. Meantime the 
Neapolitan troops reached Rome, and hastily passed through the 
city, pursued by the French ; so hot was the pursuit, that as the 
vanquished passed out at one gate the conquerors entered by 
another. General Championnet had joined Macdonald, and whilst 
they were arriving in such force at Rome, they heard that the 
legion of seven thousand Neapolitans, under General Damas, who 
had been forgotten by Mack or abandoned in his precipitate flight, 
were hastening their march to arrive before the French, but had 
failed. Damas, by a herald, demanded a free passage for his 
troops, which, if refused, he declared he would obtain by force, but 
received for answer, that when he laid down his arms and yielded 
himself prisoner, the French would consent to treat with him, and 
their representatives would arrange the terms of the truce. Cham- 
pionnet wished for delay, to allow the arrival of more troops in the 
city, as his numbers were still few and fatigued. General Damas, 
who had already determined to change his route, equally desired 
delay, to prepare his soldiers for a difl^icult retreat, in the face of a 
successful army, double his numbers ; the hours passed as if by 
agreement, whilst both armies were preparing for the contest. 



260 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OP NAPLES. 1798. 

At an opportune moment Damas cautiously but boldly took 
the road for Orbitello, a distant fortress, at that time belong- 
ing to the King of Naples. He was pursued by the French, 
eager for the prey of which they had thought themselves secure, 
when it escaped from their hands ; having overtaken the rear at 
Storta, they attacked the Neapolitans, but night coming on Damas 
continued his march, and the French reposed, leaving both their 
dead and wounded on the field. The following day, another body 
of French arrived from Borghetto, under General Kellerman, hoping 
to intercept the Neapolitans, and came up with them at Tosca- 
nella, where many on either side perished in the fight, and General 
Damas had his cheek wounded by a grape-shot. The legion conti- 
nuing on their way reached Orbitello, but found the fortress with- 
out stores or victuals ; and the terms they obtained from the 
enemy, and by which they were enabled to depart unconditionally, 
were less due to the strength of the walls, than a reward for the 
valour displayed by the soldiers and their leader. About the same 
time, the legion of General Naselli sailed from Leghorn on board 
English vessels, and thus every possibility of carrying on an offen- 
sive war being at an end, Mack turned his cares to the defence of 
the kingdom. 

He was now, however, conscious of his error in having after 
the manner of the barbarians made an incursion into the country 
without a base of operations, eager for conquest and secure of 
success, while neglecting the restoration of the fortresses, mili- 
tary works within the kingdom, and all the artificial means sug- 
gested by science and experience. Even during the adversities he 
had sustained in the Roman States, he had neglected the defences 
of the Neapolitan kingdom ; and careless amidst disaster, the hour 
arrived when it became necessary to protect the country, and 
found the fortresses unprepared, the frontiers exposed, and the 
strongholds imperfectly provisioned and garrisoned. He waited 
till he could reassemble the fugitives, and with the legions of 
Damas and Naselli, which had returned entire, and other squadrons 
which had not yet been engaged, together with the large remnant 
of his discomfited troops, he could form a fresh army, more nume- 
rous than that which General Championnet was preparing against 
us. After re-establishing the Republic in Rome, and punishing 



iriK. FERDINAND IV. 261 

some acts of treachorj, Cliampionnct ordered a religious ceremony 
to be performed at the restoration of the ruined sepulchres of 
Duphot and Basville, upon which occasion he pronounced a eulo- 
gium on the conduct of his troops ; and after allowing them a 
l3rief interval of repose from their fatigues, he prepared his army 
for an invasion of the Neapolitan kingdom. He had twenty-five 
thousand soldiers at his disposal, divided into two corps ; one in 
tlie Abruzzi, composed of eight thousand men, with General 
Duhesme at their head ; the other of seventeen thousand, com- 
manded by Rcy and Macdonald, lined the lower frontier of the 
Garigliano ; Champipnnet himself accompanied the legion of Mac- 
donald. He was well supplied with artillery and provisions, besides 
having the advantage in possessing officers superior to ours in 
genius and military science. The French were only deficient in 
numbers, but their valour and good fortune, and the discouragement 
and failures of their opponents, compensated for this defect. Every- 
thing having been arranged, Championnet started on his expedition, 
though at a hazardous moment ; from the risings in Piedmont, the 
breaking up of the conferences at Rastadt,the armaments of Austria, 
and the smallness of the Republican force in Lombardy ; but for- 
tune made amends for what was w^anting in prudence. 

On the 20th December, the whole French army started in the 
direction of Naples. General Duhesme entering the Abruzzi, 
threatened the fort of Civitella, situated upon the summit of 
an eminence upon the Tronto ; inaccessible on tw^o sides, it 
was fortified on tlie remaining two, and being provided with a 
sufficient garrison, ten great cannon, ample stores of ammunition, 
and provisions from the adjoining city, was prepared to stand a 
long siege, even had the enemy had artillery and means equal to 
uch an enterprise. But the French could only hope to succeed 
by threats and the terror of their name, as it was impossible to 
convey heavy brass cannon up such a height, over precipitous 
ground, where there was no carriage road, and hardly a path. 
The commander of the fort was well aware of their difficulties, but 
panic-struck, and with the example before him of many acts of 
cowardice allowed to go unpunished, he demanded terms of the 
enemy, and after only eigliteen hours' investment, surrendered 
himself with the whole garrison prisoners of war. He was a 



262 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1798. 

Spaniard of the name of Giovanni Lacombe, lieutenant-colonel in 
tlie pay of tlie King of Naples. After gaining possession of Civi- 
tella, General Duliesme advanced further into the Abruzzi, and 
repulsed or dispersed numerous bands of armed peasantry ; he at 
length reached the river Pescara, which though at first contested, 
was soon abandoned, and was immediately forded by the French. 
Duliesme making a display of his soldiers and artillery, which only 
consisted of field guns, demanded the surrender of the fortress, 
bearing the same name as the river. Tlie commander, anxious to 
prove his intrepidity, led the herald round the fortifications, and 
pointing to the arms, the garrison, and well-filled magazines, said : 
" A fortress so well supjilied and provisioned does not surrender/' 
After receiving this message, the enemy redoubled his hostile 
demonstrations, upon which the commander, changing his defiant 
tone, raised the standard of peace, and yielded the fortress unin- 
jured and entire to the conqueror, with sixty great brass and ten 
iron pieces, four mortars, besides other arms, powder, clothing, 
and provisions, and one thousand nine hundred soldiers prisoners. 
Tlie commander was Colonel Pricard, also a foreigner, who owed 
his elevated position to the unhappy state of the country, and to 
the contempt in which we were held by our rulers. 

Whilst Duhesme was thus engaged, General Mounier was 
traversing the rugged path which leads across the mountains of 
Teramo to Civita di Penna ; and General Rusca, by a still more 
difiicult road, was on his way to Aquila and Torre di Passeri. 
They feared no danger from a retreating foe ; but General 
Lemoine, upon his arrival at Popoli, found a strong corps of 
Neapolitan soldiers prepared for his reception, and an engagement 
ensuing, the French General Point was killed, and victory was 
yet doubtful, when, our evil destiny prevailing, a cry of treachery 
w^as raised along the Neapolitan lines, and the soldiers quitting 
the field in the most critical moment of the battle, fled in disorder 
by Isernia and Bojano to Benevento. The French were thus 
advancing in the Abruzzi, and meantime part of their right wing, 
under General Key, was crossing the Pontine Marshes, and the 
rest, under General Macdonald, marching by Frosinone and Cepe- 
rano, without encountering any opposition. The King of Naples 
did not suppose it possible that the enemy, already occupied in 



179S. ' FERDINAND IV. 263 

Piedmont, and menaced in Lombardy, would venture to advance 
with so small a force ; but on hearing of his losses in the Abruzzi, 
he immediately proclaimed a war of extermination. The procla- 
mation was dated Rome, the 8th December, but was in reality 
written later at Caserta, and ran as follows: " Whilst I am in the 
act of restoring the Holy Church in the capital of the Christian 
world, the French, with whom I have done my utmost to live at 
peace, threaten to penetrate into the Abruzzi. I am therefore 
hastening thither with a powerful army to annihilate them ; but 
meantime let the people take up arms, succour the cause of 
religion, and defend ;their king and father, fighting for his life, 
but which he is ready to sacrifice to preserve the altars and pro- 
perty of his subjects, their liberty, and the honour of their women. 
Remember your ancient valour. Whoever shall refuse to join the 
standard and the levy en masse, will be punished as a rebel 
towards us, and as an enemy of the Church and State.'' 

This edict acted like the voice of God. The people flew to 
arms ; priests, friars, the most influential persons in the cities or 
villages, placed themselves at their head, and led them out to 
war ; and where there was no one of superior station, the boldest 
spirits took the lead. Shamed by this sight, the soldiers who had 
fled joined as volunteers, and the numbers, small at first, soon 
increased, until they became vast multitudes. Excited by one 
another, and by the hope of booty, they began their work. They 
had no orders but to fight, no aim but destruction ; they followed, 
but did not obey their leader, and were influenced by his example 
rather than commands. Their first deeds were stained by atrocious 
cruelty, in the massacre of stragglers and sick or wounded French 
soldiers, besides the commission of acts of treachery ; setting aside 
all claims of humanity, hospitality, or the rules of war. En- 
couraged by their first successes, they soon afterwards seized on 
the city of Teramo ; they next gained possession of the fortified 
bridge across the Tronto, and loosening the pontoons of which it 
was constructed, hindered the passage of the rest of the troops ; 
whilst in Terra di Lavoro, hordes of volunteers collected at Sessa, 
scoured the region of the Garigliano, burned the wooden bridge, 
and gained possession of almost all the park of artillery ranged 
upon the banks, which had been placed there in reserve by the 



26^ HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 179S. 

French ; carrying off the light pieces, they destroyed the remain- 
der, and after putting the French soldiers to death who had been 
left to guard them, abandoned that part of the country. The 
communication between the right wnng, and three columns of the 
left wing, w^as cut off by the Neapolitans, who placed videttes 
along the road, and murdered the messengers, and straggling 
parties of the enemy. 

The French were astonished, and we ourselves no less so, at 
this sudden change in the Neapolitan people. Without an army, 
without a king, w^ithout Mack, combatants seemed to S2oring from 
the earth, and the same French army, wdiich legions of soldiers 
had not been able to conquer, had their numbers diminished, and 
were disheartened in the presence of an almost invisible foe. A 
fact which excites the "wonder of cotemporaries, must appear in- 
credible to posterity, and it is therefore the more necessary for the 
historian to investigate the reason why the Neapolitans, who shortly 
before had displayed so much cowardice, now reappeared on the 
same field against the same enemy, dauntless and resolute. The 
prowess of an individual may proceed from strength, dexterity, 
superstition, fatalism, the passion for conquest, or from necessity ; ; 
but the prowess of a nation or an army must arise from confidence 
in those acting wdth them, or in their leaders. Personal prowess < 
is a gift of nature, that of armies the result of discipline ; the first ] 
springs up spontaneously, the last demands time, military institu- j 
tions, and example : therefore, while valour is not an inherent | 
quality in every race, every army may become valiant. This is | 
acknowledged by all who have studied men and human nature ; it | 
is therefore not to be w^ondered at if the Neapolitans, who arc 
physically robust and well developed, and most of them moun- 
taineers wearing coarse woollen garments, and subsisting on scanty 
fare, attached to, and jealous of their wives, devout towards the' 
Church, and loyal (at the time of which I write) to the king, when 
tempted by rewards and the hope of booty, should be ready to 
unite and fight for the maintenance of the institutions of their 
country and for their altars ; the more so, as they were free toj 
return to their homes, might attack the enemy after their own 
fashion, and were allowed to retain what they earned by their 
prowess. But in the regular w^arfare in which they had lately 



1798. FERDINAND IV. 265 

been engaged, many of them were new conscripts who disliked a 
soldier's life, and their discontent was shared in by their comrades, 
since even in the lowest grades of the army all were aware of 
the ignorance of their leaders, and suspicious of their good faith : 
they were badly officered, badly fed, in a miserable condition, and 
were always the losing party ; and they had no respect for the pro- 
fession of a soldier, nor possessed any one quality necessary for 
an army. This absence of all military virtue was the consequence 
of errors in former governments, as well as in the present ; yet 
although the people were not to blame, an obloquy was attached 
to their name, which even the faithful records of history will pro- 
bably never succeed in eiFacing. Nations have something of fatal- 
ism in their existence, and tlie doom of the Neapolitans is, I 
apprehend, to be unfairly judged of by the \vorld. 

The left wing of the French, entangled in the Abruzzi, proceeded 
slowly ; the right hastened on towards the Garigliano ; General Rey 
demanded the surrender of the fortress of Gaeta from the governor, 
Marshal Tschiudy, a native Swiss, who had entered the Neapolitan 
service by the infamous system of traffic which Switzerland carried 
on with her citizens ; he had risen to the high rank he filled by his 
family connexions, by the slow course of years, and by favour. A 
foreigner without a military education, and deaf to the call of 
military honour, he summoned a heterogeneous council, where he 
listened to the opinion of the bishop, who called himself a minister 
of peace, and of the municipal magistrates, who were only eager to 
avoid the dangers of a siege ; whereupon the surrender was de- 
cided. Whilst this base and timid council was preparing for a 
betrayal of trust, the French general sent a shot from a six-pounder 
into the city (not having any larger piece of artillery than a howit- 
zer with him), and at that signal of war, they hastened their deli- 
berations, and raised the flag of surrender, while the governor sent 
a herald to demand peace upon advantageous terms : but General 
Rey, now aware of their cowardice, replied, " Either surrender at 
discretion, or expect the utmost rigour of war.'' Upon which, 
4000 soldiers in a strong fortress, furnished with seventy brass 
cannon, twelve mortars, 20,000 muskets, and provisions for a year, 
pontoons, ships in the port, and an immense supply of materiel to 
stand a siege, surrendered at discretion. The prisoners were con- 

VOL. I. z 



6 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1798. 

vejed to the Castle of St. Angelo, with the exception of the un- 
blushing marshal, who prayed for indulgence for himself and sixty 
of his officers, and, in reward for having assisted in the surrender, 
they obtained a disgraceful exemption, and were permitted to depart 
free, after having sworn never again to serve against the French. 

The treasonable surrender of Civitella, Pescara, and Gaeta, 
roused a hope of equal success before the fortress of Capua ; even 
though General Mack was re-organizing the army behind the river 
Volturno, and strengthening the fortifications and defences by a 
vast camp entrenched upon the side facing Rome, which he guarded 
by 6000 soldiers. General Macdonald therefore advanced to re- 
connoitre the fortress, and prepared to conquer us as cowards. It 
was midday, when, attacking the camp with three columns, he 
threw the troops into disorder, and some of them flying to the 
gates of the fortress, threatened to beat them down if they did not 
open to receive them. But from a battery of the camp, where the 
gunners stood firm before the menaces of the enemy, and refused 
to follow the bad example of their comrades, there opened a dis- 
charge of grape-shot from six cannons within a short range of the 
enemy, and which was so well directed as to strike down many in 
the columns of cavalry which were advancing proudly to the charge, 
while other volleys were fired from the bastions, causing the attack- 
ing columns suddenly to retreat: the soldiers in the camp recover- 
ing their courage, the battle was restored. The gunners in this 
battery Avere native Neapolitans, and their commanding officer 
was likewise a young Neapolitan, who was making his first essay 
in arms in this campaign. He was promoted by General Mack 
from a lieutenant to a captain, as a reward for his success, rather 
than his valour ; for neither the French horse, nor the infantry 
could have entered the camp, which was protected by the works, 
the ditch, and the trees, which had been thrown across, as well as 
by the cannon and the garrison. The French, returning to the 
assault, attempted to pass the river at Caiazzo, which was guarded 
by a regiment of cavalry under the Duke di Roccaromana. After 
suffering severe losses during the whole day, they were repulsed, 
and perceiving they could not accomplish their end by surprises, 
they changed their plan, and prepared to take the fortress by the 
slower method of siege. They had lost 400 men in the attacks on 



179& 



FERDINAND IV. 267 



Capua and at Caiazzo, half of them killed and wounded, and 
100 taken prisoners. General Matthieu had his arm shattered by 
a grape-shot, General Boisgerard was killed, and Colonel Darnaud 
was among the prisoners ; while on our side, only 100 had fallen ; 
anionof the wounded was Colonel Roccaromana. 

Generals Duhesme and Lemoine arrived at this juncture from 
the Abruzzi, and described the fatigues they had undergone, the 
obstacles they had encountered, the fords they had crossed, the 
perfidy of the inhabitants, and the number and barbarous murders 
committed upon the French. General Duhesme himself bore two 
recent wounds on his body, and while naming those guilty of the 
worst cruelties, mentioned Pronio and Rodio ; to which General 
Championnet, when relating the history of the insurrections and 
the acts perpetrated by the inhabitants of the Terra di Lavoro, 
added names already notorious for deeds of atrocity, Era Diavolo 
and Mammone.^ The French generals, assembled in council in 
the city of Venafro, became aware that they were exposed to a 
new and horrible kind of warfare ; they were now convinced that 
the cowardice shown by the commanders of the fortresses which 
had surrendered proceeded from an accident of fortune, and that 
the army had no means of escape but in keeping together, and in 
rapid strokes which might strike terror and weaken the strength 
and courage of the people. " Let our first aim, then,'' concluded 
the French commander-in-chief, " be to gain possession of Capua 
as soon as possible, and let the troops, arms, and siege artillery be 
this very day encamped around the fortress." 

Tlie Bourbonists were elated at the news of this movement of the 
enemy, for since the Abruzzi had been relieved by the prowess of its 
inhabitants, they concluded that the army of France was uniting, 
not from any further warlike intention, or from caution, but to retire 
into the States of Rome. A comparison was now drawn between 
the successes which had been achieved by undisciplined masses 
and the losses sustained by the immense army of Mack ; the sus- 
picion of treachery was thus confirmed in the minds of the people ; 
and the more so, as upon the advance of the French, the severities 
of the police had been increased, and fresh imprisonments and 
punishments were spoken of ; many of the officers were seized in 

^ Pronio, Rodio, Fra Diavolo, and Mammone, all noted leaders of banditti. 



268 HlSTOPtY OP THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1798. 

the camp, and conducted to the fortresses, and the minister of war 
himself, Marshal Ariola, was shut up in a fortress. These occur- 
rences caused divisions among the people, weakened their re- 
sistance to the enemj, and generated civil discord followed by 
numberless disasters, inseparable from that unhappy state. This 
was the bitterest fniit of the obstinate folly of the Government, in 
imagining and punishing conspiracies which did not exist, but which 
were invented by a small number of ambitious bad men, were fos- 
tered in the haughty bosom of the queen, and were afterwards 
spread and believed among the people. These pernicious false- 
hoods were detrimental to the dignity of the monarchy, the influ- 
ence of the great, and the authority of the magistrates. They 
caused soldiers to disobey their officers, and subordinates their 
superiors, and the contumacious, when reminded of their duties 
and the laws, answered by the word, traitor. Thus all orders of 
society, which had up to this time been respected, were under- 
mined, and the class which was strongest by their numbers and 
daring, namely, the lowest of the populace, held the sway ; this 
was especially the case in the metropolis, where the rabble are 
most numerous, where the class of Lazzaroni are audacious, and 
where the greatest booty can be obtained with greatest ease. As 
discipline was at an end, and authority held in contempt, the 
troops of the line dispersed themselves ; those who had fled before 
the enemy refused to return to their standards, while the valour 
displayed by the partisans of the king was wasted in marvellous 
but fruitless achievements. Meanwhile, the court and the minis- 
ters lived a life of suspense and anxiety ; a great and prosperous 
crown was tottering on the head of Ferdinand ; dangers and re- 
morse agitated the soul of the queen ; General Mack wavered 
between liis hopes in his new schemes and the ruin of his fortunes ; 
Acton and Castelcicala trembled as might be expected from their 
cowardly natures and guilty lives ; while those who had advised 
war, the Inquisitor of State and the satellites of despotism aban- 
doned themselves to desperate projects. Thus, as by a Divine 
retribution, these bad men were tormented by the consciousness 
of their evil deserts, and the fear of ap23roaching and certain 
vengeance. To fly, was the desire of all, though not avowed, be- 
cause an act of cowardice and only to be resorted to at the last 



1798. FERDINAND IV. 269 

extremity. The French army, stopped by a single fortress and 
river, and by the armed bands of the people, did not advance ; the 
risings within the city were all in favour of the king, and many 
vows of fidelity were offered up for the throne and church. Not 
a single province nor city had yielded to the French, whose 
dominion did not extend beyond the ground covered by their army ; 
and the unexpected disasters which had befallen the enemy, ren- 
dered the Bourbons and their adherents secure in the Principati, 
Puglia, and Calabria. There was not even an excuse for flight, 
but conscience makes bad men cowards. 

There were others, also in fear : the most noted Jacobins 
whose names were inscribed in the books of the police, the 
officers accused of treason, and the possessors of wealth, in what- 
ever form, since they chiefly attracted the eyes of the insurrec- 
tionary mob. The Jacobins, experienced in contriving secret 
meetings, consulted on the means of escape, and how it would be 
possible to aid the fortunes of France, and the downfal of the 
king of Naples. These were the first real conspiracies which, if 
criminal in their design for the overthrow of the Government, 
were produced by necessity, as the conspirators, who led miserable 
and insecure lives, obliged to conceal themselves during the day 
and stealing from their houses by nights, could only thus hope for 
life and liberty. They sent envoys to the French army, to inform 
General Championnet of the state of the city and palace, and urge 
him to complete the enteq3rise he had commenced, promising him 
powerful support from their faction. The police having learned or 
suspected these proceedings, increased the dangers and alarm of 
both parties. But the terror in the king s household was already 
almost past endurance, when a deed of atrocity hastened their 
deliberations and actions. Antonio Ferretti, a courier employed 
by the ministers, and a faithful servant to whom the king was 
attached, was on his way with a royal despatch to Admiral 
Nelson, when, taken by the people for a spy of the French, 
he was seized upon the sea-shore, and while a thousand voices 
shouted, " Death to the Jacobins I" was stabbed bj as many 
blows ; while yet alive, they dragged him through the streets, 
and finally threw him into a common sewer, where he expired. 
Whilst these barbarous wretches were dragging him along half 



■ 



270 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1798. 

dead, tliey paused beneath tlie windows of the palace, and had 
the audacity to call upon the king to come out and behold 
the loyalty of his people, in the torments of the traitor. Tliey 
refused to depart or be pacified, until the tumult became such, 
from their increasing numbers and disorder, that to prevent fur- 
ther excesses, the king made his appearance, and recognised the 
unhappy Ferretti, who fixed his dying eyes upon him, as if to 
implore pity ; king as he was, Ferdinand, however, had no power 
to release him from his tormentors, but, terrified at the sight, and 
trembling for his own life, he determined on flight. Some declared 
the murder was premeditated, to produce this result, and others, in 
order to hide certain plots with Austria, known to Ferretti. 

The king having determined on his departure, hastened the 
preparations, which were made secretly, as for flight ; but conceal- 
ment was useless, for it was soon known that the royal family and 
the ministers were meditating their escape, and that tlie base 
satellites of despotism were preparing other means for their own 
flight or concealment. While the last hope of resisting the enemy 
or reorganizing the army and government were vanisliing before 
these signs of fear, a bold and faithful councillor, whose name has 
not been recorded, remonstrated with the king, upon the error and 
mischief of his flight ; but all he could obtain was a promise, that 
the fact should be concealed from the people, in order not to damp 
the warlike ardour of the provinces, or the hatred of the French. 
Letters and messengers were accordingly despatched, to assure them 
that the king was preparing to annihilate the enemy who, aided 
by treachery, and venturing into the heart of the kingdom, in the 
midst of fortresses and a population in arms, would find the 
punishment he deserved for his temerity. The credulous people 
trusted implicitly in these words, and redoubled their ardour and 
endeavours to oppose the French. Suddenly, on the morning of 
the 21st December, a number of ships which had weighed anchor 
in the night from the port, were seen navigating the bay, and 
upon the largest vessel (which was English) the king and the royal 
family were embarked, as could be perceived by her flag. At the 
same time, an edict, called SiuAvviso (intelligence), was placarded on 
the walls of the city, proclaiming that the king had left for Sicily, 
and had appointed the commander-in-chief, Prince Francesco 



1798. FERDII^AND IV. 271 

Pignatelli, regent ; but that lie intended shortly to return with a 
powerful army. 

As soon as the king had departed, the secret history of his flight 
was divulged ; as well as the intrigues of the courtiers who had 
surmounted the final delays, and the advice of such influential 
persons as Sir William Hamilton, Nelson, and Lady Hamilton. 
It was reported that Ferdinand had carried ofl" the jewels and 
treasure of the crown, as well as the most valuable of the antiqui- 
ties, and works of art in the museums, besides all that remained 
in bar or coin, in the mint and banks ; in short, a booty of twenty 
millions of ducats, belonging to the State treasure, leaving the 
unhappy nation engaged in a foreign and domestic war, without 
law or guidance, destitute and insecure. Whatever may be the ties 
which bind a king to his people, whether a human compact or a 
Divine ordinance, and whether the government be free or despotic, 
it was a heinous crime in a monarch thus treacherously to aban- 
don the State, which even the exigencies of the time and circum- 
stances cannot excuse. 

The ships were detained three days in the bay by contrary 
winds, and during that time the municipality, the magistrates, the 
barons, and the people sent deputies to the king, promising if he 
would return to use every eff'ort against the enemy, and secure 
liim the victory by their numbers and determination. The Arch- 
bishop of Naples presented the addresses to the king, and others 
those to the ministers. But Ferdinand declared his resolution to 
be irrevocable, and the ministers repeated the same in less cour- 
teous terms. The loyal feelings of the people were changed by 
this conduct ; the magistrates retired from public office, cither 
from indignation or to secure their own safety ; those who loved 
quiet, waited coming events in fear and trembling ; the hopes of 
the innovators w^ere rising, w^hile the rabble was the only party 
actively engaged, and were daily committing worse excesses. 
The royal ships meanwhile disappeared, as well as other vessels 
having on board many evil-disposed persons, the timid, and the 
ambitious, and those whose flagitious lives made them dread dan- 
ger ; a few days later news arrived that the fugitives had been 
overtaken by a violent tempest, that some had sought shelter in 
Calabria, others in Sardinia and Corsica, that many of the ships 



272 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1798. 

were scattered, while the vessel containing the king, which was 
commanded by Admiral Nelson, had had her masts and yards split, 
and could hardly keep the sea. The royal family themselves 
believed their final destruction near, and when the queen was told 
that the Infant Don Albert had died, she answered, " We shall 
all shortly rejoin my son :" whilst the king, praying with a loud 
voice, and promising large gifts to St. Januarius and St. Francis, cast 
indignant glances at the minister and his consort ; thus reproach- 
ing them with the acts of his past government, which had been 
the cause of his flight and misfortune. In the midst of the tem- 
pest, to the astonishment of all, a Neapolitan man-of-war, com- 
manded by Admiral Caracciolo, was seen steering securely on her 
course ; but although Caracciolo could have sailed past them, he 
kept within a short distance of the king's ship, to encourage, and 
if necessary to assist his sovereigns ; it seemed as if, while other 
vessels obeyed the winds, that of Caracciolo, as she sailed freely 
and proudly through the waves, commanded them. This fact was 
observed and admired by the king, which provoked the envy of 
Nelson. The English ship, though tempest-tost, came in sight of 
Palermo on the 25th December. The sea in that vicinity is very 
dangerous, and the entrance to the harbour difficult. When the 
peril to which the shattered vessel was exj^osed was descried from 
the city, and it was made known that the king was on board, 
Giovanni Pausen, the captain of a frigate, braved the weaves upon 
a small boat, and reached the ship, where he offered himself as a 
skilful pilot in these seas Admiral Nelson willingly yielded the 
command to him, and either owing to his skill or to good fortune, 
he reached the port in a few hours, and anchored in smooth water 
at the Banchetta. Caracciolo arrived in the same moorings, and 
having landed the passengers from his unscathed vessel, dropped 
her anchors. The officers of the Neapolitan navy gained much 
glory from this affair. 

The Regent Pignatelli, wdien notifying the extent of his military 
power to General Mack, and that for the government of the country 
to the Eletti of the city, recommended the defences of the kingdom 
to the first, and requested the advice of the last. Had either the 
king or the regent been equal to this emergency, they might either 
have succeeded in expelling the French, or have concluded peace, 



1798. FERDINAND IV. 273 

or prolonged the war, until bj the movements of the armies of 
Austria or Russia, the enemy would have been obliged to withdraw 
from southern Italy, and hasten to the aid of his armies in Lora- 
bardy. Damas liad brought seven thousand soldiers with him ; 
Naselli was at the head of another six thousand ; and fifteen thou- 
sand or more were encamped around Capua, who, though relaxed in 
discipline and insubordinate, might (as often happens where large 
numbers arc congregated) by a gesture or word have been easily 
restored to obedience. The Abruzzi, the province of Molise, and 
the Terra di Lavoro, were swarming with Bourbonists, the rest of 
the provinces were in arms, and the populous city of Naples was 
rising for the king. 'Had all these means been organized and 
made to act in concert, and had the moral influence of tradition, 
legitimacy, and tlie sacred idea attached to the institutions of their 
country been made use of, an army might have been created three 
times greater than that of twenty-four thousand French, supported 
by only a few hundred volunteers, inexperienced in revolutions 
and war. But General Pignatelli, born of a race of ignorant 
nobles, and educated amidst the servilities of a palace, had neither 
the abilities nor courage to save the kingdom and the crown. The 
M'orst result of despotism is, that while training its votaries to 
obedience, none are found capable of command. 

After continuing for a short time to act with the regent, the 
Eletti of the city began to suspect him of evil intentions, either in 
obedience to secret orders from the sovereigns, or from private 
motives ; and they consequently summoned other Eletti from the 
Sedili^ knights, and burgesses, and raised a large and faithful body 
of militia. After consulting on the state of public aifairs, they 
determined, in the first instance, to diminish the power of the 
regent ; but after referring to the grants of Frederic ii.. King 
Ladislaus ii., Philip iii., and to subsequent edicts and compacts, 
agreed to by Philip v. and Charles iii., they declared they could 
not be governed by a viceroy ; and that after the departure of the 
king, the royal power was transferred to the Eletti, as the repre- 
sentatives of the city and of the kingdom. 

The regent refused to submit, and both parties growing exas- 
perated, the municipality sent him a message, requiring him to 

» See Note, p. 23. 



274 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1798. 

resign his unlawful power. The disputed authority ^vas made 
manifest by the publication of edicts from either side, contradict- 
ing one another in Avords and substance ; for wliile the Eletti en- 
deavoured to repress the tumults, the regent laboured to excite 
them, and while the respectable classes of the community adhered 
to the former, the dissolute and lower orders adhered to the latter. 
On the 28th December, in the midst of this agitation, a thick smoke 
was seen rising from the shore at Posilippo, followed by flame ; and 
it was rumoured that by the orders of the regent, but in obedience 
to higher commands, a hundred and twenty bomb-ketches and gun- 
boats, drawn np for shelter in the grottoes of that rocky shore, 
had been set on fire ; some days later, scA^eral ships of the line, 
which had returned from Sicily, presented a still more melancholy 
spectacle ; for, in broad daylight, Count Thurn, a German in the 
service of Naples, gave the word of command from the deck of a 
Portuguese frigate, to set fire to two Neapolitan men-of-war, and 
three frigates anchored in the Bay. The flames at midday assumed 
a lurid dingy colour, and appeared to rise from the sea, stealing up 
the ships' sides, and running along the masts, the tarred rigging 
and sails, so that the vessels seemed outlined by fire, and soon 
afterwards fell in ashes and disappeared. The people gazed at the 
scene in gloomy silence and consternation, until rousing themselves 
from their stupor, they asked one another the reason for this de- 
struction ; why the Neapolitan and English sailors could not have 
conve3^ed the ships to Sicily ; whether it was true that the j^ort, 
the arsenals, and magazines containing the public stores, were to be 
burnt ; and whether the queen intended, now that she had fled, 
to leave the people nothing but their eyes to behold the public 
misery and to weep ? Then suddenly ceasing these idle murmurs, 
they hastened to the Town-hall, and demanded that the public 
buildings should be placed in their hands ; but they w^ere pacified 
by seeing numerous bands of the militia already guarding the city. 
The Eletti, who had been as much excited as the people, at the un- 
patriotic spirit shown by these incendiary acts, and fearing greater 
destruction, had met for consultation : some proposed at once to 
organize themselves into a republic ; others to pay down a sum of 
money to purchase peace; others to seek a new king of the Bourbon 
race from Spain ; and some, wdiose mouthpiece was the Prince of 



1709. FERDINAND IV. 275 

Canosa (wliose name I mention here that the reader may learn to 
know him from tlie commencement of his career), to compose an 
.iristocratic government, since democracy was undesirable, and 
monarchy had ceased in Naples by the flight and spoliation of 
tlie king. Tlie days were thus wasted in a variety of projects, none 
of them adapted to the exigency of the times. 

"Whilst til is was passing in the city, the French army were de- 
fending themselves from the Bourbonists, who were continually 
attacking their weakest points, or that part of their force furthest 
removed from the main body ; while they retaliated by sacking 
and burning the city of Isernia, as a punishment for opposing the 
passage of General "Duhesme, and tlien prepared for the siege of 
Capua. General Mack meantime hastened the repairs of this for- 
tress, and increased the numbers of the garrison. But the regent, 
who had already commenced secret negotiations for peace with 
Championnet, now demanded a prolonged truce, the terms of which 
were arranged in the village of Sparanisi ; the Duke del Gesso and 
the Prince di Migliano acting for Naples, and General Arcambal 
for France. It was there agreed on the 1 2th January 1 799, that the 
truce should last two months ; " that the fortress of Capua should 
be yielded to the French on the following day, with her stores and 
arms complete ; that the line of the French camp should be formed 
in the territory lying between the mouths of the Regii Lagni and 
the Ofanto, behind the right bank of the first-mentioned river, 
and the left of the last, and occupy the cities of Acerra, Arienzo, 
Arpaia, Benevento, and Ariano ; that the Neapolitan soldiers in 
Romagna should be recalled, and Naples pay two millions and a 
half of ducats, the first half on the 15th, the second half on the 
25th of that month.'' This truce was more to be deprecated than 
an unsuccessful war, for though we had been obliged to lay down 
our arms and submit to peace on hard conditions, some advantages 
might liave accrued to the king and kingdom ; but this suspension 
of hostilities, by cooling and afterwards extinguishing the ardour 
of the people (our strongest defence at that time), by yielding to 
the enemy the only fortress which served to protect the metropolis, 
as well as a vast and ricli extent of territory in the heart of the 
country, besides granting him security and facilities to await fresh 
reinforcements from Lombardy, made our fall certain, and was 



276 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

unmixed evil and total ruin, without compensation or hope for the 
future. The truce having been concluded, the French on the fol- 
lowing day occupied the fortress of Capua, and having posted their 
camps on the banks of the Lagni, took possession of the territory 
assigned them as far as Ofanto, a river which falls into the Adria- 
tic. The Neapolitan soldiers, who were daily diminishing from 
desertion, were encamped on the opposite bank of the Lagni, more 
as a demonstration than for defence ; the people, both in the 
metropolis and in the provinces, disapproved tlie terms of the 
truce ; and thus, while the war with the foreigner terminated, dis- 
sensions among ourselves increased. On the evening of the 14th 
January, the French commissioners came to Naples to receive the 
money which had been promised, but which was not forthcoming, 
nor even possible to procure, since all the State treasure, besides 
all belonging to the municipality in coin or in plate from the 
churches, banks, and mint, had been carried off by the king in his 
fliofht. The lower orders rose in a tumult at the sit^^ht of the commis- 
sioners ; and the riot lasted all night, causing more alarm than mis- 
chief, for the regent secretly connived at the departure of the French 
from the city, and the civic guard suppressed the insurrection. 

The following morning, however, matters were worse than ever. 
Some of the soldiers, either voluntarily or by compulsion, yielded 
their arms to the rabble, who attacked and disarmed the civic 
guards, and disbanded that useful body. Strong in numbers and 
arms, and elated by their first success, they ran to the ships which 
had arrived in the night, with six thousand troops on board. 
The soldiers hesitated, but their leader, General Naselli, pusillani- 
mously gave way, and distributed arms to the people, while his 
men, who were as ready to assist in a tumult as averse to war, 
joined the insurgents. Thus the stream soon swelled into a 
torrent, and the rabble hastened in vast multitudes to demand 
the castles from the regent. Terrified, perplexed, and his flight 
prepared, Pignatelli ordered the castles to be given up to the 
people, whom he called the enemies of the French and loyal sub- 
jects of the king. The prisons and galleys were next thrown open, 
and many thousand ruffians joined the mob. The serious aspect 
of affairs roused the courage of the magistrates, and they sent a 
deputation to the regent led by the Prince di Piedimonte, who ad- 



1799. FERDINAND IV. 277 

dressed him as follows: — "The municipal council command you, 
by us, to resign the powers of the regency to them ; to restore any 
of the State treasure you may have in your possession, and to issue 
an edict ordering that full and entire obedience shall be paid to 
the municipality/' The regent replied, he would take the matter 
into consideration ; but, in the night, without giving any answer 
to these intimations, or leaving any provision for the government, 
fled from Naples. Some believed that he acted thus in obedience 
to instructions left him by the queen, others that his flight pro- 
ceeded from cowardice, or his usual proneness to blunder, or from 
an intention to overwhelm his enemy. General Acton, in his ruin. 
He proceeded to Sicily, where he was the unhappy narrator of his 
own shame, and was there shut up in a fortress. 

The people, finding they had forty thousand armed men at their 
command, took possession of the castles ; and the restraints of law 
and fear being removed, believed themselves invincible. They 
called the generals traitors and Jacobins, and appointed Colonels 
Moliterno and Roccaromana their leaders ; both of whom had 
proved their loyalty, one by the loss of an eye in the war in Lom- 
bardy, and the other, by recent wounds in the engagement at 
Caiazzo ; they were likewise both nobles, bold horsemen, and 
(what the populace prize still higher) tall and handsome in person. 
They accepted offioe, because they did not wish to risk a refusal, 
and because they hoped by assuming the authority conferred on 
them by these maniacs to be enabled to curb their fury. The 
municipality (the only magistracy which continued in the discharge 
of their duties) consented to this choice, and the terrified city sig- 
nified their approbation. A gang composed of the lowest of the 
populace, went in search of Mack, but not finding him at Casoria, 
where they supposed him to be, suddenly changed their minds and 
returned. The general, who lay concealed during the night in a 
small house in Caivano, left at daybreak on the following morning, 
disguised in the uniform of a German general, and presented him- 
self to General Championnet at Caserta, who received him with 
magnanimity, and gave permission for his free passage to Ger- 
many; he was, however, detained at Milan, and conveyed prisoner 
to Paris. This history sufliciently proves what was the amount of 
his skill and capacity, which is still more evident in the narrative 



I- 



278 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

of the affair at Ulra, in 1805, which belongs to the history of 
Europe. The command of the army was transferred to General 
Salandra, but merely as a matter of form, for the greater part of 
the army was dissolved, and those who remained, refused to obey 
orders. The new commander, when on his way to form the en- 
campments, w^as soon afterwards wounded by some of the rabble, 
and with him General Parisi. Other officers w^ere likewise 
wounded or killed, the trenches and quarters deserted, discipline 
at an end, and each thought only of his own safety. Ko force 
remained but the rabble, and no authority w^as acknowledged, 
except that uncertain power which had been confided to Roccaro- 
mana and Moliterno. 

As there was no longer a Neapolitan army facing the French 
encampments, and the only show of resistance was now and then 
the appearance of an armed civilian, it w^as expected that the 
enemy (the truce having been broken by the non-payment of the 
stipulated price) would advance against the city ; and many and 
exaggerated rumours caused still further excitement in the mob. 
The municipal senate now relieved from the presence of the regent, 
consulted with the Prince di Moliterno, and divided with him the 
cares of the State. They issued an edict, commanding to prepare 
for an attack against the French, w^hich was to commence as soon 
as necessary ; to maintain order in the interior, and above all, 
public tranquillity ; to restore the arms to the depots, that they 
might be distributed with greater discrimination to the defenders 
of their country and their king, and concluded in these words : 
''Those who disobey these laws, are enemies and rebels to the 
authority of the people, and will be proceeded against by imme- 
diate trial and execution.'^ The gallows were erected in the 
squares of the city, and Moliterno was confirmed in his office as 
General of the people. The senate, by decree, provided for the 
administration of the finances, justice, and all the departments of 
Government, threatening defaulters with immediate and terrible 
punishments to satisfy the just indignation of the people. Mean- 
while, in order to divert the rabble from plunder, they proclaimed 
the fisheries and hunting grounds in the waters and woods of the 
royal domains, free to all. They then selected deputies to send to 
General Championnet, to inform him of the change of government, 



1799. FERDINAND IV. 279 

and to urge upon him the mutual benefit which would ensue from 
a peace, which, while glorious and advantageous for France, need 
not entail misery nor degradation on the Neapolitan people ; since, 
now that they had by tlieir own arms, and by their own sufferings, 
redeemed the faults of their government and army, they were 
deserving of some consideration. 

These measures for the attainment of peace moderated the ex- 
citement of the people ; many of the weapons which had been 
seized were restored to Castel Nuovo, a great number of the rioters 
started for the royal lakes and forests, and the tumult and uproar 
subsided. But those who had always advocated liberty, and those 
lately converted by the new hopes which had been held out, were 
secretly intriguing witli the French, and offering them powerful aid 
in the prosecution of the war, the success of which, they asserted, 
would amply reward the Republic by the acquisition of wealth and 
glory; they entreated them to refuse the tempting offers of peace, 
and exaggerated their own influence and numbers, while speaking 
disparagingly of tlieir opponents : they further assured them, that 
the provinces would at once return to tranquillity, when they 
heard that the capital was taken, and that the people had vindi- 
cated their right to freedom. Such was the state of affairs, when, 
in the middle of the night, messengers from the city arrived at the 
camp, consisting of twenty-four of the most violent of the popular 
leaders, among whom was Canosa, a prince by birth, an aristocrat 
by principle, and a plebeian by nature ; at their head was the 
general of the people, Moliterno. Confident in their own strength, 
inexperienced in the diflSculties of war, and the uncertain temper 
of numbers, they addressed General Championnet in a tumultuous 
manner, all speaking together; some assuring him, that while the 
Neapolitan army had only been conquered beciiuse betrayed, the 
people were neither betrayed nor conquered ; others praying for 
peace, and others, in the name of the countless millions who were 
opposed to the small French army, defying him to war. After 
they had thus vented their feelings, in mingled threats and en- 
treaties, Moliterno spoke thus in a studied speech : — 

" General, by the flight of the king and his regent, the govern- 
ment of the kingdom devolves on the senate of the city ; therefore 
in treating with you in their name, we shall conclude a lawful and 



280 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

permanent act. This," he continued, presenting a paper, " con- 
tains the powers of the deputies here present. You, General, wlio, 
after defeating a numerous army, have advanced as a conqueror 
from the fields of Fermo to the shores of the Lagni, naturally deem 
the space of ten miles which divides you from the city, short ; but 
you will perceive that the distance is greater and perhaps inter- 
minable, w^hen you remember that you are surrounded by a fierce 
and armed population ; that 60,000 citizens, with fortresses and 
ships, all animated by religious zeal and the desire for indepen- 
dence, are defending a city of 500,000 armed inhabitants ; that 
the people in the provinces are opposing you with greater numbers 
and activity, and that if it were possible to conquer, it would be 
impossible to maintain your conquest. Everything, therefore, 
counsels you to make peace. We offer you the money we engaged 
to pay in the armistice, and as much more (provided your request 
be moderate) as you may demand, besides provisions, carriages, 
horses, and all the means necessary for your return, and we engage 
to keep the road free from enemies. You have by successful battles 
during the war, obtained arms, standards, and prisoners. You 
have taken four fortresses, less by the power of your arms than 
the fame of your name ; we now offer you peace and treasure as 
to a conqueror. You will therefore derive all the advantages 
attending glory and success. Remember, General, that our num- 
bers are sufficient, nay, more than sufficient to resist your army, 
and that if you, for the sake of peace, refrain from entering the 
city, the world will admire your magnanimity ; while, if you are 
prevented entering by the resistance of the people, you will fall 
ingloriously."" 

The general spoke thus in reply: — "You address the Frencii 
army as a conqueror might address the conquered. The truce is 
at an end, because you have failed in your engagements. TVe shall 
to-morrow advance against the city." Thus saying he dismissed 
them. Several Neapolitans who were in tlie camp serving as 
volunteers or guides to the French, spoke with the deputation, 
using the seductive phraseology of liberty, but only received 
bold and determined answers ; both sides, inflamed with party 
rage, threatened the other with extermination. The deputies 
repeated the angry words of the conference to the Senate, which, 



I 



I 



1799. FERDINAND IV. 2S1 

unfortunately for the hopes of peace, passed from moutli to 
mouth in the city. Priests and friars wlio adliercd to tlie fall- 
ing government, perceiving, that since the Bouroons had fled, 
and the regent had been driven away, the Municipal Senate were 
dictating laws without the sanction of the king, went among the 
rabble, rousing their ancient loyalty, and reminding them of the 
words of the queen: — " The people alone remain faithful, for all the 
educated classes of the kingdom are Jacobins." They spread sus- 
picions against Moliterno, Roccaromana, the Eletti, and the nobles; 
and they urged the people to rise, to plunder the houses, and to 
commit other excesses. The rage which had been spent was thus 
reawakened, and tile mob that night upsetting the gallows, and 
refusing to acknowledge the authority of Roccaromana and Moli- 
terno, elected as their leaders two of themselves, one named II 
Paggio, a small flour-merchant, and the other called II Pazzo, the 
servant of a vintner, who had obtained this nickname for his youth- 
ful excesses, both of them men of bold and dissolute characters. 

The first dawn of the 15th January 1799 discovered new dangers 
which soon proved themselves too real ; a numerous band of Laz- 
zaroni went out to meet the French, whilst others dismantled the 
castles, and seized the artillery in the arsenals ; others, still more 
ferocious, went about the city, robbing and murdering the inhabi- 
tants. When the rioters were in full operation, the same friars 
and priests who had roused their passions on the previous days, 
clothed themselves in the sacred vestments, and still further excited 
the people in the squares and churches, by what they called the 
Word of God. They so far succeeded in their endeavours, that a 
servant of the noble house of^ Filomarino denounced his masters 
in the market-place, and led the Lazzaroni to their palace, where 
they seized the Duke della Torre and his brother Filomarino in their 
own rooms, and laid them in irons ; the former celebrated for his 
poetic genius, the latter for his mathematical learning ; the house, 
which was richly furnished, was first pillaged, and then burned ; 
many books, rare prints, and articles of value were destroyed, 
besides a museum of natural history, the fruits of long years of 
labour. Whilst the building was still burning, the two unhappy 
prisoners were dragged to the new quay, and there made to ascend 
a pile, where they were burned alive, amidst the rejoicings of a 

VOL. I. 2 a 



282 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

barbarous and ferocious populace. Other massacres followed. The 
municipal council broke up in terror ; all respectable persons sought 
shelter in their houses, and no voice was heard but that of the mob, 
no command but theirs. The Cardinal Archbishop, hoping to in- 
fluence them in some degree, by that faith in whose name the 
Lazzaroni were acting, ordered a solemn procession, and in the 
middle of the night carrying the statue and phials containing the 
blood of St. Januarius, passed along the most crowded streets, 
singing sacred hymns from place to place, preaching justice and 
mercy. Whilst this ceremony was proceeding, a tall man was 
seen to force a way for himself amidst the throng, and reach the 
sanctuary ; he was clothed in a dark-coloured dress, his hair was 
dishevelled, his feet bare, and he bore about him all the signs of 
penance. This man was the Prince di Moliterno, who asking 
permission of the Archbishop to address the people, and having 
declared his name and rank, and the just cause he had to wear 
mourning in the universal calamity, exhorted the people to go 
and repose, in order to enable them to sustain the fatigues of war 
on the following day ; which would certainly be the last, if all 
would consent to swear by these sacred phials to exterminate the 
French or to die. He then, in a loud voice, took the oath, which 
was responded to by a thousand voices. His speech and attire, 
combined with the religious ceremony, had the desired eifect, and, 
together with the general exhaustion, succeeded in inducing the 
people to retire to their homes, and allow the city a brief interval 
of tranquillity. 

The republicans alone did not sleep, for imminent danger yet 
hung over them. They had promised General Championnet to 
gain possession of the castle of Sant' Elmo, and had attempted 
it the night before, but without success ; some of the conspirators 
had failed at the place of meeting, the password had been wanting, 
and the garrison waking to arms, they barely saved themselves by 
flight. The fortress was commanded by Nicolo Caracciolo, who was 
in favour with the people, because he happened to be the brother of 
the Duke di Roccaromana, and was garrisoned by a hundred and 
thirty Lazzaroni, led by Luigi Brandi, one of themselves, and a man 
of desperate character. Caracciolo was in the conspiracy of the 
republicans. He proposed that at daybreak on the 20th, a handful 



1799. FERDINAND IV. 283 

of the conspirators should present tlicmselves unexpectedly and 
unarmed at the castle, as a reinforcement for the garrison ; arrived 
there, the band pretended they had been sent thither by the 
people ; for all classes of society, priests, friars, nobles, and magis- 
trates were that day to fight the French, from the castles, the 
walls, or in the field ; and they assigned as a reason for appearing 
without arms, that they were sure of finding weapons in the armoury 
of the fort, and had therefore resigned theirs to the people, who 
needed them. This plausible explanation satisfied their audience, 
and the small and unarmed band not exciting any suspicion, 
they were received amidst warlike acclamations, and were trium- 
phantly provided with arms. A few hours later the governor of 
the castle, reminding the garrison of the attempt the Jacobins had 
made the previous night, commanded numerous patrols to make 
the round of the walls, and appointed Brandi to lead them ; they 
accordingly left the castle; then giving orders to double the sentries, 
he placed a conspirator beside every man of the people. Brandi was 
recalled alone from the patrol to confer on matters of importance, 
but hardly had he arrived when the gates were closed and barred 
behind him, and he was conducted in silence to a deep dungeon. 
The garrison of Lazzaroni being thus deprived of their leader, it 
only required a few hardy spirits to overcome the rest ; at a con- 
certed signal, each conspirator who was standing sentry, placed his 
weapon at tlie breast of his comrade, whilst the others attacked 
the Lazzaroni who, in perfect security and unarmed, were dispersed 
throughout the castle. The boldness of the attempt, and the sur- 
prise succeeded, and in one short hour a hundred and thirty of the 
people were either excluded from the castle or thrown into the 
dungeons, by only thirty-one of the republican party, while other 
republicans, at a given signal, hastened to their assistance ; from 
that moment, without spilling a drop of blood, the castle was con- 
quered for the French. The Lazzaroni who had been expelled, or 
sent out with Brandi as a patrol, told of the insults they had suf- 
fered, but their tale was not believed, because the royal standard 
still floated on the stronghold ; and because slow credence is lent 
to unwelcome truths. Information was sent to General Cham- 
pionnet of this success. 

The day before the affair of Sant' Elmo, an armed multitude left 



I 



284 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

the city and attacked the French post at Ponte Rotto ; gaining 
possession of it, they proceeded onwards and forded the river Lagni, 
but encountering a stronger detachment of the enemy, were beaten 
and forced to return. The French army that same day, the 19th 
January, raised their camps and approached nearer tlie city, be- 
tween the Sarno and Averse, to await the arrival of the half brigade 
whicli had left Benevento under Colonel Broussier. While making 
his way along the defile of Caudine, known by the name of the 
Forks, in commemoration of the disasters and disgrace which befel 
the Romans there, he perceived on the opposite banks and woody 
declivities, a considerable number of armed men, and was reminded 
of the fate of the two consuls ; but more fortunate than they, or be- 
cause the present inhabitants of the Principati are less expert than 
the Samnites, he contrived to overcome them by strategy. Feign- 
ing an attack and flight, he seduced the incautious defenders from 
their strong positions into the plain, where they were easily put 
to the rout, as will always be the case where undisciplined num- 
bers are opposed to a regular army. Four hundred French, how- 
ever, fell dead or wounded, and many more perished on the other 
side ; the legion of Broussier having surmounted the defile, joined 
the main army, and were proceeding along, almost incautiously, 
when they met, fought, and defeated a body of Lazzaroni ; but 
these, wheeling about, like experienced troops, made a march be- 
hind Vesuvius, and surprised and gained possession of the quar- 
ters of General Duhesme. 

The united French army consisted of twenty-two thousand men, 
who were disposed in four columns, one of which, under General 
Dufresse, was sent in the direction of Capodimonte ; another, 
under General Duhesme, towards the Capuan gate ; the third, 
under General Kellerman, towards the bastion of the Carmine, 
while the fourth, under General Broussier, was held in reserve. 
Naples, unprovided with bastions or walls, or even fortified gates, 
relied for defence on her immense population, on the close build 
of the houses, and on the fanaticism of her people with their hatred 
of the French. It was the 2 1st of January, when General Du- 
hesme, in advance of the rest, his vanguard led by General Mou- 
nier, repulsed large bodies of the Lazzaroni, took some of their 
cannon, and entered by the Capuan gate, encamping in the square 



1799. FERDINAND IV. 285 

of tliG same name. Suddenly, circle within circle, from houses 
prepared by loopholes in the walls, and covered ways, a thousand 
muskets were discharged at the French, who fell killed or wounded. 
General Mounier himself received a mortal wound, the boldest fell 
by the hand of an invisible foe, and neither skill nor valour could 
avail anything ; they therefore abandoned the fatal spot, and 
withdrew their forces. Kellerman having vanquished those guard- 
ing the bridge of the Maddalena, pitched his camp on the right 
bank of the Seveto; and General Dufresse, without encountering 
any opposition, took up his quarters in Capodimonte. The Laz- 
zaroni gloried in having retaken the Piazza Capuana. 

But their triumph did not last long ; for Duhesme returned to 
the attack, and having taken a battery of twelve cannon which 
had been placed before the gate, proceeded slowly across the square, 
setting fire to the buildings round. It was already night ; the flames, 
the extent of the fires, and the prospect before them, terrified the 
Lazzaroni, who hastened to seek refuge in the heart of the city. 
On the following day, General Championnet, unwilling to expose 
his own army to so much probable loss, and so noble a city to 
destruction, hoped to conquer Naples by threats and expostula- 
tion. He accordingly ranged his soldiers, artillery, and standards 
along the heights, and exhorted the enemy to capitulate. But his 
herald was stopped on the way, attacked by the Lazzaroni, and 
obliged to fly ; another messenger, in disguise, reached his desti- 
nation, but finding neither leaders, orders, nor magistrates, the 
senate dissolved, Moliterno and Roccaromana fled, and nothing 
left but the rabble and utter confusion, he returned to the camp to 
report how matters stood. General Duhesme had meantime sent an 
advanced guard of a few men to the open space called Delle Pigne, 
and as the Lazzaroni attacked them from the Palace of Solimena, 
a handful of soldiers made a sudden rush, reached the edifice, set 
it on fire, and then returned to the camp. Thus passed the 21st 
January, and little of interest occurred on the following day. 

But in the night the French general prepared a final assault to 
take place on the 23d, and sent intimation of his intentions to the 
ofl5cers in command of the columns, and to the allies in Sant' Elmo ; 
he then organized the movement and position of the troops, order- 
ing, in the event of the hoped-for victory, that strict discipline 



I 



286 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

should be maintained among the soldiers, and in case of defeat, 
providing for the retreat and safety of the army. Ojierations com- 
menced at daybreak. At the general assault the Lazzaroni de- 
fended themselves in the streets, but, without discipline or leader, 
they fought as chance directed, and with desperate courage, until 
the cannon from Sant' Elmo began firing on the market-place, and 
killed several of their number ; all then turning towards the castle 
beheld the French standard, and discovered they had been be- 
trayed. Moliterno and Roccaromana had already taken refuge in 
the fort, and republicans disguised as Lazzaroni mingled with the 
crowd, and endeavoured first to stop the slaughter and pillage, and 
then to persuade the betrayed people to submit to the French yoke. 
If only viewed in the light of a deception practised on the people, 
their conduct would deserve censure, but when it is remembered 
that their object was to put a stop to the excesses and fury of a 
lawless mob, they deserve praise for humanity. God and history 
will decide if those who first kindled the war, and then deserted 
it, who excited the people to arms, and then abandoned their ad- 
herents, the state, the chief command, and the reins of govern- 
ment, were not alone guilty of all the crimes perpetrated at that 
time. They could act coolly, and were under no compulsion, while 
those who remained were prompted by the instinct of self-preser- 
vation, by patriotism, and still more frequently by necessity. The 
dregs of the people hurried to the spoil of the palace, but were 
dispersed by two discharges of cannon from Sant' Elmo, and aban- 
doned it when half sacked. The French meanwhile proceeded 
onwards. General Rusca, by an assault, gained possession of the bas- 
tion of the Carmine, Castel Nuovo surrendered to General Keller- 
man, and General Dufresse abandoning Capodimonte for Sant' Elmo, 
descended into the city in order of battle. But General Champion- 
net, who, in the midst of all his hostile preparations, had not relin- 
quished his noble desire for peace, went to the camp of Duhesme, 
and raising the flag of peace, invited the people by signs to ap- 
proach, and by gestures and words persuaded them that, now that 
the French were masters of the castles, it was folly to prosecute 
the war, and worse than folly, unjust ; since they had come to 
bring the people peace, abundance, and a better government, and 
would swear to respect their persons and property, to reverence 



1799. FERDINAND IV. 287 

the Cluircli and religion, and pay tlic devotion due to the most 
blessed St. Januarius. The general spoke Italian fluently, and 
was therefore understood and applauded by his audience, among 
whom was Michcle il Pazzo, the chosen leader of the Lazzaroni, 
who, requesting Champion net to place a guard of honour around 
St. Januarius, immediately obtained leave for two companies of 
grenadiers to march to the Cathedral ; as they passed along the 
streets, the troops shouted, " All reverence to St. Januarius I" while 
the Neapolitan Lazzaroni, who ran by their side, responded with 
the cry of " Long live the French I" Never did fame fly more 
swiftly ; the event was told from one end of the city to the other, 
and the friendly words' of the French general were repeated, whilst 
the banner of the three colours floated from the castles, and 
French bands of music invited all to rejoice. The heavens were 
unclouded, as is usually the case in Naples during the month of 
January. Arms fell from the hands of the populace, who, like 
tame or untamed cattle, are ready to acquiesce in servitude or 
freedom, the sport of fortune, and less inclined for action than en- 
durance, — a fit material for despotism. The noise of war had 
ceased, those who had fled in terror came out of their hiding- 
places, and General Championnet made a magnificent entry into 
Naples, preceded by an edict, which ran as follows : — 

" Neapolitans, be free ; if you know how to enjoy the gift of 
freedom, the French Republic will be amply rewarded in your hap- 
piness for her dead and for the war. If any among you still prefer 
the government which has ceased to exist, let them disencumber 
this free soil of their presence ; let them fly from us who are 
citizens, and let slaves go among slaves. The French army will 
take the name of the army of Naples, as a pledge and solemn vow 
to maintain your rights, and to use those arms to advance your 
liberties. We French will respect the national worship, and the 
sacred rights of property and person. Your magistrates will, by 
their paternal administration, provide for the tranquillity and hap- 
piness of the citizens ; let the terrors of ignorance disappear, let 
the fury of fanaticism be dispelled, and may you be as solicitous 
to serve us, as the perfidy of your fallen government was to in- 
jure us." 

The rejoicings continued : the republicans, who embraced one 



288 HISTOEY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

another in the streets, called to remembrance those who had suf- 
fered in the cause, and with tears of emotion and pleasure blessed 
the memories of Vitaliano, Galliani, and De Deo, wliile bands of 
patriots hastened to tlie houses of their relatives, to condole with 
them on their past sufferings. Amidst all tliese festive scenes, the 
eyes and thoughts of men were attracted towards the melancholy 
spectacle of the dead bodies of those who had fallen on either side, 
and which yet encumbered the streets ; at least a thousand French 
lay there, and three thousand or more Neapolitans. After night- 
fall, the darkness was dispelled by an infinity of lamps, which 
illuminated the city, while Mount Vesuvius, which had been tran- 
quil for many years, sent forth a placid and brilliant flame, like a 
celestial omen of happiness. The omen, however, proved fallacious, 
for a far different destiny lay concealed in the bosom of time. 



i 



BOOK IV. 
THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 

JANUARY TO JUNE 1799. 

CHAPTEK I. 

LAWS FOR THE ORGANIZATION OF THE REPUBLIC. 

When General Cliampionnet entered Naples, the rejoicings of 
the people were overcast by the remembrance of the recent strife, 
and by the sight of the unburied dead ; but by orders of the 
city magistrates this melancholy spectacle was removed during the 
silence of night, and preparations made for the festival of the 
morrow. The grief for those who had fallen ceased, because sol- 
diers only lament their comrades in the hour of danger, and the 
Lazzaroni neither sorrow for their dead, nor wear mourning. At 
daybreak, many of the youth of the city, inflamed with a passion 
for liberty, invited the people to listen to harangues on the advan- 
tages of a republic, and declaimed with all the eloquence tliey 
could muster on the rewards, the duties, and virtues of the citizen. 
They proceeded to enumerate the faults and acts of injustice of 
the fugitive king, reminded their audience of the treasure he had 
carried off, of the ships which had been burned by his orders, 
leaving their shores without defence, exposed to enemies and 
pirates ; and of the war he had provoked, and then fled to avoid ; 
of his having roused the people to arm and then deserted them, 
leaving no directions for their conduct in future, and abandoning 
liis subjects to the sword of foreign enemies and to domestic strife. 
These facts, fresh in the recollections of all, strengthened the 
arguments of the orators and gave fire to their eloquence in the 
cause of liberty — a word which warms the heart of every man, a 

VOL. L 2 B 



290 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

wellspring of joy, and an instinct of nature. The happiness of the 
people therefore was universal, openly acknowledged, and unalloyed. 

General Championnet meantime issued an edict in the name 
and by the authority of the French Republic, in which he declared, 
that, desirous to use the rights of conquest for the benefit of the 
people, he proposed to organize the State of Naples into an inde- 
pendent republic ; that a body of citizens should be formed to 
frame the new statute, and to rule with the forms of a free govern- 
ment ; and that by the authority he derived from his rank and the 
success of his arms, he had taken upon himself to appoint the 
persons of whom this Assembly was to be composed, who would 
meet that same day in San Lorenzo,^ and would receive their 
powers from his lips. This Provisional Government was to consist 
of twenty-five members, who were classified in departments called 
committees, assuming the names of, the central committee, the 
committee for the interior, for war, for finance, for justice and 
police, and for legislation. General Championnet then proceeded 
in military array, and escorted by a A^ast crowd of admiring people 
to San Lorenzo, a building associated in their minds with honourable 
memories of the past ; and there in the great hall, where the Pro- 
visional Government was already assembled, he ascended a place 
of honour, and spoke as follows : — 

" Citizens, the conduct of the affairs of the Neapolitan Republic 
is for the present confided to you. The permanent government will 
be elected by the people; you yourselves being constituent and con- 
stituted, may diminish the embarrassments which new laws must 
entail by governing according to the principles which you shall pro- 
pose for the new statute. I have, therefore, temporarily confided to 
you the charge of legislators or regents for the public benefit. You 
have unlimited powers and equal responsibility. Remember that 
upon you depends whether a great benefit or a great evil be con- 
ferred upon your country; which will accrue to your honour or 
dishonour. I have indeed selected you, but you were pointed out 
to me by fame : and may the excellence of your performance 
justify the choice of the people by v;hom you are said to be 
endowed with exalted genius and pure hearts, and to be ardently 
and sincerely attached to your country. 

* San Lorenzo. The Town Hall. 



1700. THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 291 

" While organizing tlie Republic of Naples, let the constitution 
as closely resemble that of the French Republic, as the wants and 
habits of your country will permit. France is the mother of the 
new republics, and of the new era of civilisation, and during your 
administration continue to be our friends, colleagues, and com- 
panions, and in all things be united with France. Do not hope for 
prosperity separated from her ; remember her sighs will be your 
sorrows, and that when she totters you fall. 

" The French army, which has taken the name of the Neapolitan 
army, as a pledge to protect your freedom, will support your rights, 
will aid your labours, and will fight/or you and with you; and while 
defending your cause, We ask no other reward than your affection." 

The hall was filled with people, and this eloquent discourse was 
followed by applause, and good wishes for the orator, as well as for 
the prosperity of the Republics of France and Naples, while tears 
of emotion and pleasure were seen in many eyes. When silence 
was restored, Carlo Laubert, a Neapolitan, a member of the Pro- 
visional Government, but formerly an ecclesiastic of the order of 
the Scolbpi,^ who had escaped as a liberal to France, and had 
returned with the army, answered in these words : — 

" Citizen General, our liberty is indeed a gift of France, but the 
army and its leader have been the instruments by whom the 
benefit has been obtained. With less valour, less discretion, or 
less virtue, you could not have conquered an army of extermina- 
tion, dispersed a people stung to fur\^, or seized on the strongholds, 
and overcome the obstacles of the road and the winter season. 
Let us therefore return thanks to the French Republic, thanks to 
the army, and thanks to you, General, who have come like a mes- 
senger of liberty and peace. 

*' In this land, within our bosoms, first sprung up the desire for a 
better government, the first aspirations for liberty, and the warmest 
prayers for the prosperity of France ; in this land and from our 
bosoms was shed the first blood to tyranny ; here were the heaviest 
chains, the longest sufferings, the fiercest torments. We had thus 
proved ourselves worthy of liberty, but had it not been for the errors 
committed by our tyrants, and the Divine scourge which pursues all 

^ Scotbpi. Scuole Pll, Schools of Charity ; an Order founded by Joseph of Calasanzio, 
for the purposes of education. 



292 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

whose consciences are troubled by the sinfulness of their lives, we 
should yet have been under the yoke of Acton, of the queen, 
of Castelcicala, and all the satellites of despotism. Their crimes 
alone would not have sufficed (for the people's endurance is great) 
had they not added error to crime, and had not we been sup- 
ported by arms, and aided by retributive justice. 

" You, General, have given us the Republic, that form of govern- 
ment most befitting men ; our task will be to preserve it ; but we 
entreat you to consider it as a tender new-born child, which will 
need help and counsel ; it is your work, give it then your advice 
and support. If you perceive that we are not equal to so high 
an office as that you have imposed on us, we will restore it into 
your hands ; for in the face of such an undertaking and such hopes, 
the thought of self must disappear, and we can only desire to pro- 
mote the wellbeing of our country. I swear to dedicate myself 
to this work, and the provisional government selected by you will 
in your presence register this oath before God and the people." 
The voices of the tw^enty-four remaining members all instantly 
repeated the words, " I swear.'" 

General Championnet left the Assembly with the same state in 
which he had entered, and followed by still greater applause. 
Mario Pagano, another member of the government, then turning 
to the people, thus addressed them : — 

" Yes, citizens, we are free ; let us enjoy our freedom, but let 
us not forget that it rests upon the support of arms, upon the 
payment of the taxes, and upon our virtue ; and that in a republic, 
it is only by excelling in virtue that our arms will find repose, and 
our taxes be diminished. The constitution and laws of the Govern- 
ment will be directed towards these three ends. As speech is free, 
do you aid our endeavours by your suggestions, and we will accept 
your advice with gratitude, and will follow it, if good. 

" But listen to me, all you who are animated with a desire for 
liberty, which I perceive in the joy sparkling in your eyes ; 
listen to the warnings of one grown grey, less from age than from 
cares for his country, and his suflferings in prison ; hasten to 
arm, and when armed, be obedient to command. Republics are 
adorned by every virtue, but the noblest virtues are to be found 
within the camp ; wisdom, eloquence, and genius enable States to 



1799. THE PARTHKNOPEAN REPUBLIC. 293 

progress, but the valour of the soldier alone can preserve them. 
The republics of earlj nations (for society commenced as republics) 
were rude, ignorant, and barbarous ; but they lasted because war- 
like : the republics of a corrupt era of civilisation soon fell ; for 
altliough they abounded in good laws, statutes, and orators, and 
all the supports and incitements to virtue, the profession of arms 
was In that generation suffered to decline. 

" Therefore the hopes of liberty depend more on you than on 
us. No sooner is the Provisional Government acknowledged to be 
a lawful and constituted authority than we turn to the fulfilment 
of our duties ; let those who are so full of ardour in the cause 
instantly hasten to fulfil theirs ; let them inscribe their names on 
the standard of liberty, which they will recognise in the tri- 
color." 

The Assembly broke up, and scenes of conviviality in private 
families followed these public demonstrations of joy. General 
Champlonnet, who had taken up his residence in the former abode 
of royalty, now called the National Palace, entertained the chief 
officers of the army, and the liighest personages in the government 
and the city ; several members of the Government also gave 
banquets, but the rejoicings were greatest in those families who 
had suffered most under the tyranny ; while even the lowest of 
the populace feted one another, and good wishes for the Republic 
resounded on every side ; tlie relatives of those who had been 
executed for treason were alone missing in these banquets and 
festive scenes ; and the more distant the event the more the dead 
were lamented and extolled. 

That same day edicts were circulated throughout the provinces, 
proclaiming what had taken place, and transmitting directions for 
the conduct of the government. Orders were issued that until 
fresh commands arrived, the country was to be ruled as before, 
only with such modifications as would enable it to harmonize with 
the general forms of a Republic, and that the authorities, magis- 
trates, and officials, should continue the same. All fears having 
subsided, and the war being at an end, the provinces were eager 
to emulate the metropolis, and every town and village showed 
signs of rejoicings. The next day the trees of liberty (at that 
time the emblems of a republican government) were raised in the 



294 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

squares of Naples, accompanied by ceremonies wliicli had ratlier 
the character of bacchanalian orgies than civic solemnities, with 
impassioned orations, frantic dances, vows, and the celebration of 
nuptials, as in a consecrated temple. Finally, General Cham- 
pionnet, accompanied by the other generals and officers of his 
army, went in solemn state to the cathedral to return thanks for 
the termination of the war, to adore the relics of St. Januarius, 
and to invoke the blessing of God on the new State. The church 
and chapel were prepared for the sacred rite, and an immense 
concourse of people stood expectant, eagerly watching the phials 
to draw auguries for good or for evil. Jiut the miracle was com- 
pleted in a shorter time than it had ever been before, and the 
General presented the sanctuary with a mitre richly decorated with 
gold and gems; the officers appeared to be filled with devotion, 
as if believing in the mystery, and the populace were satisfied that 
this change of government was the will of God. 

The fete being at an end, and the excitement of novelty sub- 
siding, the minds of men recovered their natuial equilibrium, and 
all were intent on what was to follow, in order thereby to detei^ 
mine their ambitious schemes or conduct. In order fully jfl 
comprehend the facts I am about to relate, it is necessary to give 
a sketch of tlie state of the Neapolitan poo])le, such as it was 
before and during this period. Political liberty was only the 
study of a few learned men derived from modern books, and built 
upon French theories ; therefore as unbounded as the genius 
of revolution, and as little applicable to the stale of society as 
the dreams of ideal philosophy. The failiniis inherent in liuman 
nature, the errors and even those virtues which by a natural 
course often degenerate into vices, such as ambition and heroism, 
both necessary for republics, but which by iheir very nature 
are apt to overstep their boundaries, and b come dangerous to 
the State, in short all those necessary accompaniments of man 
in his present condition, were overlooked or ignored in these 
abstract doctrines; and a certain ideal of political liberty was 
created, only too far removed from reality. Still greater ignor- 
ance was displayed in practice. Ko national ])arliament nor 
convocations of the people was composed for the conduct of 
affairs of State ; institutions which may be traced to the earliest 



THE PARTIIENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 295 



periods of our liistory, but wliicli had been neglected even by the 
virtuous kings of the House of Swabia. The rights of property 
were still violated by the Government, and were subject to 
feudal burdens and church tithes, and were at the caprice of any 
power which happened to be u[)permost; the person of the vassal 
was at the disposal of the lords and barons, and men were liable 
to the abuse of the trial by inquisition, were in the power of 
informers and spies, and might be carried off as soldiers in the 
arbitrary levies f )r the army, besides suffering all the oppressions 
of a state of feudalism ; neither arts, trade, nor industry were 
free, and all independent action was hampered. The only vestige 
of freedom remained in the popular parliaments for the election 
of officers for the municipality ; a liberty unproductive of good, 
because standing alone and surrounded by servile institutions. 

Tlie comprehension of liberty, and what was worse, even of 
equality before the laws, was therefore wanting. Liberty is the 
oifspring of nature, and therefore despotism is forced to use 
repeated efforts and extinguish all independent thought before the 
sentiment can be obliterated from the human breast. Equality, 
on the other hand, springs from civilisation and long-established 
rights; for that the weak should be equal with the strong, the 
poor with the rich, or the powerless with the powerful, are not 
natural ideas. Amidst the rude tribes of antiquity men were free 
but not equal ; and a glance at the history of the Neapolitan 
people (not at the remote and now forgotten Greek republics, but 
at the more recent although still ancient history of seven centuries, 
during which tin^e the manners of the people were formed) will 
satisfy the reader that there does not exist any practical evidence 
nor indication of political equality in the institutions of the 
country, but on the contrary, monarchy, a priesthood, feudalism, 
immunities, privileges, domestic servitude, vassalage, and number- 
less other social anomalies. Political equality in the year 1799, 
therefore, was neither demanded as a right, nor so much as 
dreamed of by the peo])le ; the lowest of the populace alone pre- 
tending to understand by the term, an equal division of wealth 
and property. 

For this reason the great principles of the French Revolution, 
liberty and equality, were neither valued nor comprehended in 



296 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

our country ; wluch difference alone between the revolutions in 
France and Naples, was sufficient to suggest a different form of 
government ; but there were others no less important. The re- 
volution was made hy France, but for Naples. The transition 
from the extreme of a despotic monarchy to that of a republic, 
had been the work of three years in France, and of one day in 
Naples. The political necessities of France were manifested by 
risings in the people ; such necessities were unknown or did not 
exist in Naples ; the labour and success of these enterprises satis- 
fied the demands of France, while in Naples it was first necessary 
to show the people what they were in want of, and to awaken 
them to desires, in order afterwards to have the merit of satisfying 
them. The King of France was dead, the supporters of monarchy 
there likewise dead or in exile ; while the King of Naples was 
reigning in the neighbouring island of Sicily, and all the adherents 
of the past were still amongst us. The barons were opposed to the 
new order of things ; those nobles who were partisans of the 
Republic were the sons and not the heads of families, and could 
hardly rouse the retainers on their fiefs, while the priests were in 
terror of a persecution like that suffered by the French clergy ; 
monks feared the pillage of their monasteries, and law^'-ers the 
repeal of that compilation of codes on which they depended for 
the exercise of their vocation and the acquisition of fortunes ; and 
finally, we did not possess any of those qualities upon which liberty 
depends, and in which France abounded, military virtues and poli- 
tical ambition. The Revolution with us had not even the pretence 
of legality, because it did not emanate from a Parliament, States- 
General, nor from any other assembly nor constituted authority, 
not even from a unanimous movement on the part of the people, 
but was the result of a conquest which was not yet completed, and 
of a state of things which alienated the timid and lovers of order 
from the new goverhment. 

Though it was at first proposed that the details of the Govern- 
ment should differ from those of France, they proved to be iden- 
tical ; a fact to be either attributed to the necessities of the time, 
or to the intoxication caused by the successes of the French, or, as I 
believe, to the preponderance of men of genius and erudition in 
the members of the Government, without any one possessing the 



]-!)c). THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 297 

capacity to conduct a revolutionary movement, or the kind of 
knowledge required to rule a new State. These men had long 
been the friends of liberty, and had most of them suffered im- 
prisonment in tlie State dungeons ; they were now called ^a^Wo^5, 
a name adopted from the French to avoid that of Jacobin, which had 
been disgraced by the evil deeds of Robespierre. The first act of 
the Government was to send deputies to the French Republic, to 
express their gratitude for the benefits conferred on them, and to 
remain as ambassadors of friendship and alliance. The Prince 
d'Angri, who held a high position from his family and wealth, was 
selected to fill this office, with the Prince di Moliterno, also a noble- 
man, who had a still higher claim from his unsullied reputation, 
his having earned some fame in arms, having opposed the clubs, 
and been an upright leader of the people in the late war against the 
French ; and because, without turning traitor, he had abandoned his 
post when it became impossible to restrain the populace. He was, 
however, suspected by the new Government, who, while honouring 
him with the office of ambassador, sent him into exile. The Duke 
di Roccaromana was too much addicted to pleasure, and too feeble 
a character to aspire to govern, and was therefore overlooked in 
the beginning of the Republic. Thus the first acts of the Govern- 
ment betrayed symptoms of jealousy, characteristic of all free 
governments, a stimulus to virtue in great States, but producing 
discord in small ; for in the one case it supports, in the other it is 
destructive of liberty. 

A decree was next passed, by which the country was divided 
into departments and cantons, abolishing the division of provinces, 
and changing their names for others more ancient and of honoured 
memory. Thus the rivers, mountains, forests, and the boundaries 
of nature, frequently became the centres of departments or cantons, 
and sometimes of districts ; and by an exchange of names, a moun- 
tain was sometimes mistaken for a city, and was made the capital 
of a canton ; the territory belonging to one community was divided 
into two cantons ; some rivers were named twice, and certain 
towns wholly omitted ; in short, there were so many blunders, 
that everything remained as before, and the only effect of the law 
was to brin<x the leoislators into discredit. 

A wise law abolished entails, a measure which had already been 



298 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

recommended in the works of Filangieri, Pagano, and other learned 
men, and vvliich was as productive of good results as was possible 
under existing circumstances. Many communities were at law 
with the barons, many more were striving to break through the 
restraints of vassalage ; and both parties, with others excited by 
their example, invaded the feudal domains with lawless violence, 
divided them among the citizens, and revenged their own wrongs 
and those of their forefathers by revolutionary excesses. These 
acts were not wholly displeasing to the Government, who declared 
feudalism abolished, put an end to the baronial jurisdiction, dis- 
missed armed retainers, forbade personal service, remitted tithes 
and loans, with all the payments which had been exacted under 
the title of rights, and promised a new law which should settle 
the claims of the commons as well as those of the former barons, 
without retaliating past injuries inflicted by the feudal landholders. 
The Government was prepared to fulfil this promise, but, entangled 
in the web of reciprocal claims, and only guided by an abstract 
idea of justice, they met with obstacles on every side, now in the 
right of possession, and now in titles ; therefore the law, after 
long discussion, was never promulgated. Of all the members of 
the Government, he who most steadfastly "supported the claims of 
the barons was Mario Pagano, — opposed to them in all his theories, 
a philosophical writer, a timid counsellor, and who would liave 
made an admirable legislator in an already-made Republic, but 
incapable, as were likewise his twenty-four coadjutors in the Go- 
vernment, of founding a new Republic. 

Another indication of the popular hatred towards the past was 
displayed in the case of the royal hunting-grounds. When the 
chase was made free to the citizens they destroyed the game, 
efi'aced the boundaries, and, without regard to claims of property, 
cut down the wood, reduced the land to cultivation, and divided it, 
like a conquered territory. Upon this, the Government declared 
the royal chase national property, and dismissed the rangers. 
Edipts were issued promising the suppression of convents, the 
reduction of bishoprics, and the sequestration of the enormous 
wealth of the Church ; benefits which were not understood as such 
by the people, as was proved during the riots, by the invariable 
respect maintained, and even increased, towards the Church and 



I7i)y. THE PARTIIENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 299 

clergy. The cabolition of titles of nobility, the demolition of the 
escutcheons and effigies of former kings, the term National given to 
every tiling which had been Royal, and the name tyrant bestowed 
on King Ferdinand, were the subject of other laws which either pro- 
ceeded from hatred of the past, or were in imitation of France. 

Other branches of the administration were likewise provided for. 
The finances, which were already disordered, had been rendered 
worse by the late commotions, while the urgency of the times 
added to the causes of uneasiness : the principal cares of the Go- 
vernment were therefore directed towards this subject. By a law 
for which the people were totally unprepared, the deficit in the 
banks was declared a' national debt, and, with the best intentions, 
payment w^as promised, which was neither in accordance with 
justice nor financial rules, as there was not money sufficient in the 
country to replace such enormous losses, and, by the transfer of 
bank paper, the actual owners of the certificates were not the cre- 
ditors in the bankruptcy. By another law, the ratepayers were 
ordered immediately to discharge their debt to the exchequer for 
the taxes due to the late Government, as well as to pay the current 
taxes. The Government taxes were to continue unaltered, until a 
better arrangement should be made by the new statute. 

Meantime the duty upon fish was abolished, greatly to the satis- 
faction of the fishermen in the metropolis, who immediately became 
friendly to the Republic. But the abolition of the duties upon 
corn, as well as the capitation tax (erroneously believed communal), 
was attended with a very opposite result throughout the kingdom ; 
for the Government taxes being paid by them, to maintain these 
last and yet abolish the means by which they were obtained, 
created a confusion, and was impossible in practice. The rate- 
payers, supported by the new law, refused their accustomed pay- 
ments ; while the tax-gatherers, supported by another law, urged 
their demands, and complaints and disputes arose in the com- 
munities. 

In the midst of this scene of disorganization and of pecuniary 
difficulties, a command was issued by General Ciiampionnet, which, 
while remitting the sum stipulated for in the truce, imposed a war- 
tax of two millions and a half of ducats on the city, and of fifteen 
millions upon the provinces ; a sum in itself exorbitant, and, in 



800 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

the actual condition of the country, impossible to raise within the 
time, which was fixed at two months. The Government, however, 
obliged to yield to necessity, considered how they could best dis- 
tribute the burden ; and unable to find any precedent in the 
past history of the finances, from the absence of statistical state- 
ments, they laid taxes on departments, communes, and persons, 
as they judged best : their decisions being influenced by party 
spirit, those provinces whicli had been most firm in their adherence 
to the king, as well as all who had continued most faithful to their 
oaths, were heaviest taxed. In order to facilitate payment, gold 
and silver plate, according to weight, was accepted in lieu of 
money, as w^ell as jewellery, at a valuation, and the feeling of the 
people towards the Republic was proved by families sacrificing the 
last remains of their wealth, brides tearing off their ornaments, 
and mothers depriving their infants of the precious stones they 
wore as amulets, and of sacred ornaments, to which they attached 
a superstitious value. But a spirit of discontent was raised by the 
heavy amount of the tax, by the way in which it was exacted, and 
by the injustice of the demand itself 

Five of the Government were deputed to represent the general 
dissatisfaction to Championnet ; Giuseppe Abbamonti was chosen 
spokesman. He appealed to his feelings of compassion and jus- 
tice, and entreated the general to revoke his order, which at that 
time was impossible to execute, but which would be easy to obey, 
when the power and authority of the Republic had been established. 
He was endeavouring to render these truths more palatable by 
arguments, praise, and flattery, when the general, interrupting 
him, quoted the barbarous words of a barbarian progenitor : " Vse 
victis esse" (woe to the conquered !) Among the five was Gene- 
ral Manthone, a retired captain of artillery, a man both men- 
tally and physically strong, a patriot, and one w^ho despised 
foreigners. Discarding diplomatic forms, and assuming for the 
moment the office of spokesman, he addressed Championnet in 
these words : — " Citizen General, you appear to have forgotten that 
neither have we been conquered, nor are you a conqueror ; that you 
have not entered this city by battles and victories, but by our aid 
and consent ; that we gave you the castles, and betrayed your 
enemies for the sake of our country ; that your weak battalions 



1799. THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 301 

were not able to conquer this vast city ; nor would they have suc- 
ceeded in retaining it, had we separated ourselves from you. To 
prove the truth of my assertion, leave tliese walls, and then return 
if you can ; you may then lawfully impose war-taxes, assume the 
authoritative tone of a conqueror, and, if such is your pleasure, 
use the unrighteous words of Brennus, which will then better be- 
come you.'' The general dismissed the deputation, with an assur- 
ance that he would reconsider the matter ; but from that hour he 
became suspicious of the Neapolitans, and the Republican party 
began to dislike the French. 

The general on the morrow confirmed the taxes, and ordered 
the people to be disarriied. To bestow freedom on men and then 
deprive them of their arms, is a mere mockery of liberty. The 
organization of the civic guard was permitted ; but, at the same 
time, it was ordered that they should be chosen only from the 
most distinguished and loyal patriots ; and such stringent laws 
were passed by the Government, that while many were inscribed 
as ratej)ayers, few of the citizens were included in the armed 
militia. No more than four companies were raised in the metro- 
polis, and the number selected was only six hundred. The assess- 
ments were very heavy, and unsupported by an armed force, or 
the attachment to a free government, they were only viewed in 
the light of a greedy financial measure. The caution or suspicions 
of the French general, and the theories inculcated by Neopolitan 
theorists, caused the neglect of a regular army. " All free men 
are soldiers in a republic," asserted these theorists ; '* mercenary 
armies are the instruments of tyranny. Rome, when she was really 
free, raised her champions at the time of war ; soldiers are not 
wanted in republics," with other eloquence of the tribune, containing 
hypothetical ideas of virtue. Numbers of Dalmatians were begging 
in the streets, who had formerly been in the service of Ferdinand, 
and were now abandoned in a foreign land. Gangs composed of 
men, who had once been the armed retainers of the barons, of the 
royal provincial courts and of the bishops, with many soldiers who 
had hitherto lived on their pay, wandered over the provinces, and 
subsisted by crime. It would have been easy to have formed a 
new army of twenty-five thousand men, and thus to have rid the 
country of the danger incurred by twenty-five thousand ncces- 



302 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

sitous persons and robbers. But the Republic disdained to owe 
its protection to foreign and mercenary troops, and waited until 
the day of battle to stamp on the ground and see armed warriors 
start up at their bidding. 

A still greater evil was impending in the shape of famine. The 
harvests of the previous year had been scanty ; foreign and do- 
mestic war had consumed an immense quantity of grain. Sicily 
refused to send her rich products, and the ships which left the 
ports of Puglia and Calabria for Naples were pillaged by Sicilian 
and English vessels. The price of bread rose, which was felt the 
more severely by the lower orders from the loss of their accustomed 
gains. A great many domestic servants had been dismissed, there 
was a pause in all industry, and evil agents were at work, w^ho ex- 
pected to derive advantages for themselves from the desperation 
of the people. But the rulers were not alarmed ; they confided in 
the zeal of such of their supporters as possessed full granaries, 
in the compensation offered by the blessings of a free government, 
in the resignation of the people, and the glory of suffering for their 
country. As they themselves excelled in these virtues, and w^ere 
little experienced in the evil side of human nature, they believed 
them to be universal, and therefore thought it was only necessary 
to convince the people of the excellence of the existing form of 
government, to allay all dissatisfaction. They accordingly sent 
forth swarms of patriots to harangue and persuade them of this 
fact. It was enough to provoke grief and indignation to hear 
beardless orators holding forth in the empty market-place on the 
benefit of the republic, and in a style of eloquence not their 
own, but borrowed from the French, and which had no effect on 
their vulgar auditors, filled with opposite ideas, and yet these 
youths presuming that they could silence the complaints and de- 
mands of the people. 

The wisest and most rational of all these orators was Michele il 
Pazzo, the former leader of the people in the tumults of the city, 
who had acted as peacemaker on the arrival of Championnet, and 
who, when affairs had changed, had been raised to the rank of a 
French colonel, and was often sent on missions to the people. He 
harangued them in the vulgar dialect, the only language he could 
speak, standing on a height whence he might be seen above the 



1799. THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 303 

heads of his audience, and spoke without preparation, allowing 
them to argue with him, and reply. He once remarked, " Bread 
is dear, because tlie tyrant orders the ships bringing us corn from 
Barbary to be pillaged. How ought we to act ? Hate him, main- 
tain the war against him, and rather all of us die than see him our 
king again ; and earn our daily bread by labour during this 
scarcity rather than give him the satisfiiction of hearing that we 
suffer.'' At another time he addressed the people in these words : — 

" The present Government is not a republic ; the republic is 
making ; but when made, we idiots shall know it, either by our 
enjoyment or suffering. Those who are wise know when the sea- 
sons change ; we kno\t if we are hot or cold ; tlie tyrant made us 
endure war, hunger, pestilence, and earthquakes ; if they tell us 
we shall be happy under a republic, let us give them time to 
prove it. 

" He who is in haste sows his fields with radishes, and eats 
roots ; he who would eat bread sows corn and waits a year : so it 
is with the republic ; those things which are to last want time and 
trouble ; let us wait." 

When asked by one of the people what was the meaning of the 
word citizen^ he answered, " I do not know, but it must be a good 
name, because the Gapezzoni (a term by which the lower orders 
designated the heads of the State) have adopted it for themselves. 
By calling every one citizen the great lords are no longer your 
excellence, nor are we Lazzaroni ; that name makes all men 
equal." ■ 

In answer to another question : — " What does the word equality 
mean?'* "That this," pointing to himself, may either be a Laz- 
zaro or a coloneL The great lords were colonels before their birth ; 
I am one by equality : men were once born great, now they be- 
come so." 

I pause here, not to dwell too long on this subject, but I have 
heard many more sayings of this low-born man containing the same 
common sense, and I only regret being forced to weaken his most 
pithy remarks by not being able to give them in the lively and 
concise words of the vulgar dialect. 

Many priests and friars addressed the people on the subject of 
the Government, and, deducing the doctrine of political equality 



I. 



304 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

from the gospel, translated the words of Jesus Christ into the Nea- 
politan dialect, thus strengthening and exciting their hatred of the 
king, their attachment to a free Government, and their ohedience 
to existing authorities. They explained the flight of Ferdinand, 
and the arrival of foreigners with the change of government, as 
fulfilments of tlie prophecies ; and together with the prophecies 
they mingled the cross, equality, liberty, and the Republic : thus, 
while exhibiting themselves in their sacerdotal robes, and speaking 
a language which was superstitiously believed in, they insinuated 
views favourable to the new State. But there were other ecclesiastics 
who were inspiring opposite ideas in the confessionals, and foolish 
youths counteracting the labours of wiser men by their doctrines, 
that no restraint was to be placed on a man's conscience, and by 
preaching that belief and the choice of religious worship were free ; 
that there were neither Divine rewards for virtue nor punishments 
for crime, and that no future existed for man more than for 
brutes. 

The attention of the rulers, which had in the first instance been 
confined to the metropolis, now extended to the provinces ; but 
following the same course, they sent commissaries to the depart- 
ments, and others to the cantons, armed with as much authority as 
was needed for the enforcement of the laws, and empowering them 
in urgent cases to act on their own responsibility for the mainten- 
ance of public tranquillity. They were accompanied by many 
persons who, under the name of Democratizzatori, without any 
particular office or stipend assigned them, were charged to per- 
suade or compel the cities and towns of the provinces to adopt 
republican forms ; and provided with letters-patent from the 
Government, they stirred up the populace with real or pretended 
zeal, in the expectation of being rewarded by public offices and 
profit. It is easy to conceive how unwelcome were these commis- 
saries and Democratizzatori to the inhabitants of the provinces, 
who are a rude and simple but shrewd population, totally indif- 
ferent to the charms of a liberty they had never experienced, who 
despised empty declamations, and who had never looked beyond 
the abolition of feudalism, the division of feudal lands, a diminu- 
tion of the taxes, and an improvement in the administration, and 
justice. These demands did not escape the orators of the republic, 



1799. THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 305 

but they spoke of tliem casually, promised tliem at some future 
time, and mixed tlieni up with the subject of religious reforms, 
liberty of conscience, a proposal for civil marriages, the non-observ- 
ance of wills, and numberless other propositions, suggesting a lax 
morality, repulsive to the habits and feelings of the rude peasantry. 
The chief aim of these harangues was to enforce the payment of 
the government taxes, and to remind the people of the assistance 
and support which citizens owed to their newly-acquired freedom. 
Proceeding from speech to action, the Commissaries began to 
investigate the acts and opinions of the magistrates, who, being 
old, and chosen frorn the partisans of the past government, 
did not satisfy the extreme ideas of 3'ouths who were vehement 
partisans of liberty ; and they were therefore supplanted by new 
men. Many of the respectable inhabitants of the provinces who 
had been dissatisfied with the past government from the tyranny 
exercised over them, and from the spoliation of public and private 
property, favoured and supported the new order of things ; but 
they stopped midway when they perceived that the State was not 
governed on established principles, but by theories from which 
they anticipated danger and ruin. 

There was another voice which had not yet made itself heard, but 
was not long silent, that of public accusations. Niccolo Palomba, 
anxious to accuse Prosdocino Rotondo, one of the twenty-five mem- 
bers of the Government, collected a large meeting of patriots, and 
after stating his crimes and the proofs against him, and urging the 
utility of bringing the matter before the public, asked the assistance 
of those present against so influential a man, since in these times 
all real power resided in the sovereign people. Tlie motion was ap- 
proved, the accusations read, and a promise was given to support this 
bold resolution. As there was neither precedent nor forms for such 
a procedure, the accuser presented himself before the Provisional 
Government, accompanied by a number of his clients, and read the 
libel aloud ; his audience all retaining their seats as legislators, 
and the accused forming one of the august congress. Astonished 
at this proceeding, they doubted whether the accusation should be 
admitted, but it was listened to at the request of the accused him- 
self The libel treated of misdemeanours long past, or rather 
which had never been committed. Rotondo bore an unsullied 
VOL. I. 2 



306 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

character, while that of Palomba, except in his attachment to the 
Republic, was tarnished by suspicion and misdeeds ; but his fac- 
tious supporters believing this act to be a proof of freedom, a 
thousand voices were raised in praise of the plaintiff, and the plan 
of attack was concerted with him in secret meetings, whilst the 
accused demanded an open trial. The Government considered the 
prosecution of this iniquitous trial a scandal, and by its example 
endangering the unimpeachable authority of the representatives of 
the State ; they therefore resorted to the weak expedient of sus- 
pending the proceedings ; they conferred on Palomba a high office 
which he had coveted, sending him commissary into one of the 
departments, and hoped that the turpitude of their acts would be 
passed over in silence. A month from that time, when the form 
and persons of the Provisional Government had been changed, 
and Prosdocino Rotondo had returned to the condition of a private 
citizen, he availed himself of his privilege as a free man, to de- 
mand the renewal of the trial before the ordinary magistrates, by 
wliom he was acquitted. Rotondo magnanimously refrained from 
bringing a charge of libel against his accusers, and there was not 
found a single guardian of the laws who had the courage to act 
for him. 

These facts show the manner in which public employments were 
given away, the power of secret societies, and the weakness of the 
Government. A thousand similar accusations were at once brought 
forward, and neither a fair reputation, the probity of a man's past 
life, nor the purity of his present conduct, could check the ambition 
or arrogance of unprincipled men. A tribunal was instituted called 
the Censorship, to receive accusations, to examine into them, to 
expedite trials, and to provide facilities for the accusation of the 
prosecutor, as well as the necessary defence for the accused. Popu- 
lar societies sprang into existence at this time, some of them 
secret, and others open, whose members prepared the accusations. 
The most noted of those which were public, were the Patriotic 
Society and the Popular Society, which, following the example of 
French Clubs, held public and private meetings under a president, 
with a tribune, a programme of the subjects under discussion, and 
a book to record their decisions. The great political questions of 
the day, the new constitutions for the State, the laws, ordinances, 



1799. THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 307 

the war, offices, officials, and the public and private lives of the 
citizens, were there examined into with the freedom or rather 
license of the tribune ; and their decisions were either sent up to 
the Government in the form of a message or advice, or were carried 
before the tribunal of the Censorship as an accusation, or were 
referred to the people in order to excite a tumult. No man could 
rest secure, confiding in the purity of his intentions, no voice of 
calumny was to be despised ; every enemy had the power to injure, 
and merit of whatever kind was dangerous ; changes were perpe- 
tually occurring in the offices of state, while bitter hatreds and 
faction were actively, at work. Calumnies and accusations became 
loud, and were not silenced until the fall of the Republic, for the 
spirit of faction (a symptom of infirmity in the ruling power) must 
destroy a Government, if not itself destroyed. 

Whilst the most difficult problems relating to the new statute 
were under discussion in the Patriotic Society, and even French 
liberty seemed too limited for us, the Constitution of the Neapoli- 
tan Republic appeared, drawn up for the Legislative Committee by 
Mario Pagano, It was identical with the French Constitution of 
1793, with only a few slight modifications ; but we regret to read 
there the abolition of the communal parliaments, which, though 
turbulent and useless under a despotic government, are, in a repub- 
lic, the most fitting means by which to carry on the elections and 
administrations, the pivots on which every free government moves. 
The judicial power was rendered too weak, and the administrative 
was not left wholly independent, while the project of a body of 
Ephors met with general approbation, because intended to support 
the sovereignty of the people. The Constitution was built upon 
two principles ; first, to produce a balance of abstract powers, with- 
out too much interference with the balance of existing forces, or that 
which forms the real strength of a free state, namely, the habits, 
opinions, and peculiar characteristics of the people ; and secondly, 
jealously to guard against the encroachments of the executive power 
and of influential citizens. The Neapolitan Republic was not 
allowed time to try the experiment, whether any code of laws 
could hinder the downfall of a free state which bears within itself 
the germs of its own ruin ; but one year later, these very laws, 
jealous as they were, could not save the mother Republic from her 



308 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF KAPLES. 1799. 

fall ; fortunate at least in falling into the hands of one who was 
Emperor fifteen years, and who preserved for lier a Lirge share of 
her liberties, while unhappy Naples was swallowed up in a whirl- 
pool of despotism. 

The Provisional Government were engaged in the discussion of 
the statute for the constitution, and were finding some consolation 
amidst present troubles in their hopes for the future, when, to in- 
crease their embarrassments, a certain Faypoult, a French com- 
missary, arrived in Naples. He brought a decree from his Republic, 
which, maintaining the rights of conquest, ratified the war-tax, 
and declared the treasure of the Crown of Naples, the palaces or 
royal residences, the woods of the royal chase, the endowments of 
the orders of Malta and Constantino, the wealth of the monas- 
teries, the allodial fiefs, the banks, the porcelain manufactory, and 
the antiquities buried beneath the ruins of Pompeii and Hercu- 
laneum, to be the appanage of France. Championnet, alarmed 
at the general dissatisfaction caused by this measure, and fore- 
seeing danger on the horizon, and who was besides not at heart 
a bad man, stopped Faypoult in the execution of the decree, which 
he annulled by an edict ; but the commissaiy insisting, a dispute 
arose, and the strongest conquered. Faypoult was dismissed and 
took his departure. The Neapolitans were so much delighted at 
this event, that while their hatred against the French became 
twofold, they began to conceive a liking for Championnet, and to 
find excuses for his past severities on the plea of necessity. The 
poi^ulace quoted his acts of devotion, and his ruh gifts to St. 
Januarius, and an idea, the origin of which is unknown, cir- 
culated among them. In the baptismal registers of the Church 
of St. Anna, was found the name of Giovanni Championne, whose 
parents were not those of the general, and the date of whose birth 
even was different ; but in spite of these discrepancies, Cham- 
pionnet was believed to be a Neapolitan, although he really came 
from Valence in Dauphine. 

The people were therefore grieved when they read in the French 
Gazette a decree of the Directory to this eflect : — " Seeing that 
General Championnet has employed force and authority to pre- 
vent the fulfilment of the powers confided by us to the civil com- 
missary, Faypoult, and that he has thus placed himself in open 



1799. THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 309 

rebellion against the Government, the citizen Championnct, 
general of division, formerly commander of the army of Naples, 
shall be put under arrest, and brought before a court-martial to 
answer for his offence." 

The general immediately departed, and the command of the 
army was assumed by Macdonald. Championnet was tried in 
France, acquitted, and restored to his command in the army with 
increased honours, but soon afterwards died in poverty at Antibes, 
and, if reports speak true, of poison administered by others or by 
himself. The Neapolitans sympathized with his misfortunes, and 
lamented him the more as Macdonald came accompanied by that 
same Faypoult, an insolent, hard-tempered, inflexible man, who 
delighted to revenge himself for the joy the people had expressed 
at his dismissal, and the attachment they bore his enemy. 

About this time news arrived that the French had occupied the 
States of Tuscany, and that the Grand Duke Ferdinand iii., with 
his family, had departed. The French Directory, insatiable in 
conquest, after invading the States of Lucca, had demanded from 
the Tuscan Government the reason for their hostility manifested 
by the reception of the Neapolitan troops, the enemies of France, 
and by affording an asylum to the Pope, Pius vi. The Grand Duke 
replied that he had not acted thus in a spirit of hostility, nor in 
hatred against the Republic, but that he had been obliged to yield 
from necessity, he being the weaker power, which had been his 
motive for tolerating the reception of the Neapolitan troops in the 
port of Leghorn, which had been menaced by a strong fleet of 
Sicilians and English ; and that with regard to the Pontiff, there 
was no law forbidding him to afford a shelter to Pius, and that it 
was the duty of every Christian prince to concede a refuge to the 
head of Christendom in his old age and misfortunes. Although 
these excuses were plausible and praiseworthy, and although 
the disasters of the French arms had already commenced on the 
Adige, which made it advisable to unite rather than divide the 
armies of the Republic, yet such was the inordinate thirst for 
conquest of the Directory and of General Scherer, the commander- 
in-chief in Italy, that a French legion, under General Gauthier, 
was sent against Florence, which, arriving beneath the walls, 
demanded by a herald the surrender of the city. Ferdinand iii. 



I- 



310 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

resigned himself to the necessity of the hour, and, in reply, 
published the following edict : — 
" To my people, — 

" French soldiers have arrived in Tuscany ; we shall consider 
it a proof of the loyalty and attachment of our subjects if they 
obey the commands of those in authority, maintain the public 
peace, respect the French, and take every means to avoid giving 
offence to the new rulers. Such conduct will increase (if it is 
capable of increase) our affection to our people.'' 

The French then entered Florence ; the Grand Buhe departed 
on the following day, the 27th March, and the peace of the city 
was not disturbed. This success increased the dominion of the 
Republic as well as their adherents, and the Government of 
Naples rejoiced. It was their last cause of rejoicing, as from that 
time forth every day brought tidings of disaster. 



1799. THE FARTHENOrEAN REPUBLIC. 311 



CHAPTER IT. 

INSURRECTIONS OF THE BOURBONISTS IN THE PROVINCES — ATTEMPTS 
AGAINST THE REPUBLIC BY THE KING OF SICILY AND THE ENGLISH — 
RETREAT OF THE FRENCH. 

When the consternation of the Bourbonists, caused by the dis- 
astrous war, the conquest, and the new Government had subsided, 
tlie provinces, finding that the much-talked-of but invisible French 
battalions made no attempt to repress their first acts of resistance, 
broke out into open rebellion, and armaments were formed in vari- 
ous parts of the kingdom. The majority of the people were 
opposed to the new order of things, which were only supported by 
a few young men, who possessed little influence ; while the pru- 
dent were silent, less from any dislike to the Republic, or attach- 
ment to the past government, than from an anticipation of im- 
pending evils and dangers. In the cities through which the 
French army had passed, the injuries they had caused were not 
imputed to the necessities of war and conquest, but to a want of 
discipline in the soldiers, and of forbearance in their chiefs ; and 
those cities which bad yet been unvisited by the French, were in 
fear of a similar infliction. The dissatisfaction was universal. 
The Dalmatians, the baronial retainers, the troops of the royal 
provincial courts, and all who were accustomed to depend for a 
livelihood on their pay, formed themselves in bands, and made in- 
roads into the country, with the aim or pretext of serving their 
king ; but, meantime, enriching themselves by booty and plunder. 
Ill the Abruzzi, where the Bourbonists had for a time suspended, 
but never laid down their arras, they brandished them again more 
fiercely than ever, led on by their chiefs Pronio and Rodio. Pronio 
in early life had been an ecclesiastic, but prompted by his evil 
passions, he had enrolled himself as a retainer in the baronial 



I 



312 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

squadrons of the Marquis del Vasto ; having been guilty of homi- 
cide, and sent to tlie galleys, he escaped by his strength and agility, 
and turned to infesting the roads ; enlisting on the Bourbonist 
side, he fought with success against Duhesme, when, chosen leader 
by his comrades, he gained fame, security, and wealth. Rodio 
was by birth a gentleman ; he was a classical scholar and doctor of 
laws, but crafty and ambitious; and, foreseeing the disasters which 
threatened the Republic, he threw himself on the royalist side, 
and was welcomed by the rabble as the first example of a man of 
gentle birth, and unstained by crime, who had embraced that 
party, which until then had been supported by men of the lowest 
description ; Rodio was therefore proclaimed their chief. The 
city of Teramo, and several other towns, returned to their allegiance 
to the king ; the French meanwhile retained the fortresses of Pes- 
cara, Aquila, and Civitella, and scoured the country round in search 
of provisions, restored the trees of liberty where they were cut 
down, reanimated their adherents, and punished their opponents. 
The rest of the inhabitants of the three provinces were divided 
among themselves, and, adopting the views of the strongest party, 
were sometimes for the king, sometimes for the Republic ; but, as 
jealousies and disputes between the municipalities had at all times 
kept neighbouring districts at variance, so now their choice was 
often determined by the contrary choice of their neighbour, and 
became a greater excitement to ofFenoes, quarrels, injuries, and 
bloodshed. 

In the Terra di Lavoro, many villages on the borders were 
domineered over by Michele Pezza, a native of Itri, born of low 
parents, a murderer and thief, on whose head the Government had 
for some years past set a price, but by frequent good fortune, or 
cunning, he had come off victor in every encounter, and escaped 
all dangers, by which he obtained from the peasantry (who have 
a proverb signifying that devils and friars are crafty and invulner- 
able) the name of Fra Diavolo, which he retained as a proof of liis 
prowess throughout the civil w^ars, and up to the time of his death ; 
he was bold, fearless, and shrank from no crime ; placing himself 
at the head of a numerous band, he lay in ambuscade amidst the 
rocks and woods of his native country, from whence he could see 
an enemy at a distance without being seen, and thence prepared 



1799. THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 313 

his attacks on stragglers from the French, or on those marching 
in small detachments, putting all to death without mercy. Rang- 
ing throughout the country from Portella to the Garigliano, he 
murdered the French couriers, and whoever might possibly be the 
bearer of letters or messages, and interrupted the road between 
Naples and Rome. 

In the same province, but in another part of the country, called 
the district of Sora, Gaetano Mammone, a miller, carried on the 
war at the head of a large band of followers ; his fierce character, 
the reverse of everything human, was nearer that of a wild beast ; 
and, while relating his deeds, I shrink with disgust from the 
stories told of this horrible monster. Thirsting for blood, he 
drank it with pleasure even from his own veins, and revelled in 
that of others. When at table he liked to have a human head 
placed before him, which had been freshly cut off, and was yet 
bleeding ; and he quaffed blood or liquors from a skull, which he 
would frequently change. Had not all these facts been confirmed 
by Vincenzo Coco, highly esteemed both as a man and author, a 
councillor of state, and honest magistrate, who relates them from 
the testimony of an accredited witness, I could not have believed 
or repeated stories so revolting. During the civil wars, Mammone 
put to death at least 400 French or Neapolitans with his own 
hand, causing his prisoners to be dragged from their dungeons, that, 
whilst at table with the chiefs of his band, he mio:ht slauohter 
them for the amusement of his guests. Yet King Ferdinand and 
Queen Caroline wrote to this man, or rather beast, " My general 
and my friend.'"' 

To return to the state of the country. Numbers were in arms 
in the province of Salerno, and the difficult and intricate defile 
of Campestrino was occupied by Bourbonists, who only yielded it 
after an engagement with a strong column of regular troops. 
From thence the Bourbonists scoured the country in the vicinity 
of the towns of Cilento, the mountains of Lagonogro, and even of 
the capital of the province ; the road to Calabria was thus filled 
by Bourbonists, and closed against all besides. The city of 
Capaccio, and the towns of Sicignano, Castelluccio, Polla, and Sala, 
raised the royal standard, and threatened all who adhered to the 
Republic. The Bishop Torrusio, after rousing the city of Capaccio 

VOL. I. 2d 




314 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

to rebel, made use of temporal as well as spiritual weapons ; whilst 
in the other towns of the same province, the royalist leader was 
Gherardo Curci, surnamed Sciarpa, who had once been a captain 
of armed retainers in the royal provincial courts, and when dis- 
missed from that office, had offered his services to the Republic, 
but had been rejected, and insulted by being called a satellite of 
despotism. 

A still more sanguinary war was afflicting the Basilicata, as the 
people there fought with blind fury, not caring whether they were 
governed by a monarchy or republic, but only using either pretext 
to wreak their vengeance for old offences. The combatants were 
numerous on both sides, and, formed into large bands, were^ daily 
engaged in contests and in continual slaughter. Two incidents 
worthy of record occurred in the midst of these domestic calami- 
ties. The inhabitants of the little city of Picarno, who had with 
heartfelt rejoicings celebrated the change of government, when 
attacked by the Bourbonists, barricaded their gates, and aided by 
the strength of the place several times repulsed the invaders. They 
continued to hold out, until the fortunes of the Republic declining 
everywhere, they were besieged by immense numbers, and the 
citizens were obliged to fight from their walls. After a time, their 
supply of lead was exhausted ; a consultation as to the remedy to 
be adopted was held in an assembly of the people, and it was re- 
solved, first, to melt down the pipes of the church organs, next the 
lead of the windows, and lastly the domestic utensils, and those 
used in pharmacy, by which means lead became as plentiful as 
powder. The priests excited the people to fight, by prayers in the 
churches, and public squares ; those who were too old, or too 
young, assisted as far as their strength would allow, and the 
women took compassionate care of the wounded, while some of 
them disguised as men fought by the sides of their husbands or 
brothers, deceiving the enemy less by their change of dress than 
by their courage. So much valour obtained its reward, for the city 
did not succumb until the fall of the province and of the State. 

In Potenza, not far from Picarno, and a large city, now the 
capital of the province, Francesco Serao had been bishop ; he was 
the same honourably mentioned in the second book of this his- 
tory, as at one time persecuted by the Holy See for Jansenism, but 



1799. THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 315 

supported by the king. Some years later, when Ferdinand had 
changed his policy., he grew weary of the bishop, who was accused 
of being a friend of republicanism and a favourer of the French. 
When the riots therefore first broke out, he was attacked in the 
episcopal palace, where, discovered in the act of prayer before the 
cross, he was dragged through the streets and murdered ; his head 
was cut off, placed on the point of a lance, and carried through the 
city. The murderers were few in number, only seventeen, and 
none of them belonging to the lower orders. A wealthy citizen of 
Potenza, Nicolo Addone, of fierce disposition, a devout son of 
the Church, and attached to the Republic (though secretly, as 
he feared to endanger 'his riches in the uncertain state of public 
matters), swore to revenge this atrocious deed ; and not daring to do 
so openly, he resorted to stratagem. Feigning himself a Bourbon- 
ist, and that he rejoiced in the death of the bishop, he invited his 
murderers to a banquet, and after a sumptuous repast, and immo- 
derate indulgence in wine, he put them all to death by the sword ; 
and most of them by his own hand, assisted by his followers, who 
either joining in the banquet, or concealed in the house, waited his 
signal for the onslaught. This horrible act roused the indignation 
even of the partisans of the Republic, and Addone being warned, 
fled from Potenza, and after remaining long concealed in the woods, 
took refuge in France. Many years afterwards he was pardoned 
for his crimes by a decree of the new king, Joseph Bonaparte, and 
returned to tlie kingdom. He has since been seen playing the 
part of false witness in trials for treason, and thus injuring honest 
citizens, to assist the cause of the Bourbons. He has, however, 
escaped all punishment, and still lives in the enjoyment of his 
hoards of ill-gotten wealth. 

Four Corsicans, of the names of Cesare, Boccheciampe, Corbara, 
id Colon na, excited an insurrection against the Republic in 
Puglia. Cesare had been a livery servant in Corsica, Boccheciampe 
was an old artillery soldier who had deserted, and Colonna and 
Corbara were mere vagrants subsisting by evil ways. The crimes 
of all four had obliged them to fly from Corsica, and they had left 
Naples from fear of the French ; they were now in the ports of 
Puglia, seeking the means of embarkation for Sicily or Corfu. 
Arrived at Monteiasi, they happened to lodge with an innkeeper 



I. 



316 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

of the name of Girunda, who had a talent for intrigue, and 
they plotted together how to raise the people in favour of the 
Bourbons. It was settled that Corbara should personate Prince 
Francis, the heir to the throne ; Colonna, the Lord High Con- 
stable, his equerry ; Boccheciampe, the brother of the King of 
Spain, and Cesare, the Duke of Saxony. Girunda was to act 
in the conspiracy, as avant-courier, bear witness to their (iden- 
tity, and trumpet this fraud upon the people. The real Prince 
Francis had shortly before visited Puglia, but Girunda trusted to 
the credulity of the weak, and to the profits these mummeries held 
out to rogues. Their parts were arranged in the night, and 
Girunda went before daybreak to announce the arrival of the 
princes in a mysterious manner, that this city might be the first 
to join them. His story was believed ; and an immense crowd, 
composed of the lower orders, hastened to the little inn where these 
great people were lodging, and eagerly offered their services as 
soldiers or attendants. Colonna descended into the street, and, in 
the name of the prince thanking all present for their zeal, dis- 
missed them. Girunda had meantime procured a carriage, and as 
they entered it, the three Corsicans feigned great respect towards 
Prince Francis, who, graciously saluting those around, and saying, 
" I throw myself into the arms of my people,'' ordered the carriage 
door to be shut, and departed for Brindisi. 

The talent for adventure so largely developed in the Corsicans, 
enabled them to assume the haughty air, the magnanimity, 
and lofty demeanour of royal personages ; they departed before 
dawn and arrived at their next halting-place as night fell in, 
while Girunda travelled some miles in advance to find lodgings, 
and prepare the people for their reception. The presence of 
the princes was therefore confirmed by a thousand voices, each 
declaring he had seen them, and adding, as usual in marvellous 
stories, facts which, hovvever absurd, were believed. Their 
success exceeded their hopes ; an armed populace followed the 
carriage, surrounded the house where the impostors lodged, and 
tearing down the emblems of the Republic, restored the royal 
dominion. The pretended Prince Francis revoked some of the 
magistracies, created new, emptied the treasuries, and imposed 
heavy taxes on the families of rebels ; he was more submissively 



1799. THE PARTHENOPEAN RErUBLlC. 31 7 

obeyed than the real prince, because more impudent, and supported 
by the people, ready to execute his orders. The Archbisliop of 
Otranto, who had long known Prince Francis, who had been with 
him the year before in the same city, where he had assisted at 
ceremonies in the church and the palace, now became a participa- 
tor in the fraud, by confirming in writing that this was the real 
prince, and only as much altered in appearance as might be ex- 
pected after a year of so much anxiety about the war, and the 
affairs of the kingdom. 

The impostors turned back towards Taranto, where, on their 
arrival, they found a vessel approaching the shore, which was 
conveying the old Priiicesses of France, fugitives from Naples to 
Sicily. These daring fellows were not, however, to be daunted ; 
Corbara sent a message to the princesses, informing them of this 
wonderful fact of popular credulity, and went in regal state, and 
with the ease of manner of a relation to visit the ladies ; who, 
although possessed of their full share of the pride inherent in the 
royal Bourbon race, were yet so eager to assist the cause of the 
king, that they received this low-born man as a nephew, and gave 
him the title of Highness, while lavishing on him every mark of 
respect and affection. The people being thus confirmed in their 
belief, numbers assembled in arms for the royal cause ; even those 
who were incredulous or convinced of the imposture, followed where 
fortune seemed to lead, and the three provinces of Puglia rose in 
rebellion. Corbara was now desirous to place his ill-gotten wealth 
in security, and proclaimed that he purposed to go to Corfu, taking 
with him the constable Colonna, and to return with a large Russian 
army ; and further, that he left as his lieutenant and generals in 
the kingdom, the brother of the King of Spain, and the Duke of 
Saxony. He was hardly out of the gulf when he was captured by 
pirates, and lost his riches and his life. Colonna, though he escaped 
death, was heard of no more. Boccheciampe was slain while de- 
fending the castle of Brindisi against a French vessel ; but mean- 
time Cesare, the fortunate leader of a numerous band of followers, 
gained possession of Trani, Andria, and Martina, large and strongly 
fortified cities, without meeting with any opposition, whilst the 
smaller cities and the greater part of Puglia were vanquished by 
the sound of his name, and submitted to the king. 



i 



318 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

The state of Calabria has yet to be described. Although more 
adherents of the Republic were to be found among the Calabrese 
than elsewhere (perhaps owing to the desire to revenge the suf- 
ferings they had endured under the most oppressive form of 
feudalism, or because they retained in their rude habits and 
manners the virtues of a primitive and free state of society), 
yet a considerable number of the inhabitants adhered to the 
king ; the proportion of republicans to that of their opponents in 
the whole state, may indeed be computed as only ten in a thou- 
sand. The Calabrian Bourbonists sent both written and verbal mes- 
sages to the king in the adjoining island of Sicily, informing him 
of the condition of these provinces, and entreating him to send even 
a small body of soldiers, and a sufficient supply of arms, with autho- 
ritative persons, laws, and proclamations, to promote the zeal of 
the people which had already been roused, to succour his kingdom, 
and thus take pity on his faithful subjects, exposed to the venge- 
ance of foreign and domestic foes. Other messengers from Naples 
and Puglia confirmed the tidings of the popular insurrections, 
and the ease with which the French might be expelled, and the 
rebels subdued. But the king persisting in his idea of treachery, 
refused to believe these accounts, which he thought some fresh 
artifice, and confided solely in the armies of his allies ; thus de- 
ceiving himself as to the injury he was inflicting on his own cause. 
The queen and Acton justified the faults of their government, 
imputing them to the treason of the subjects, and Mack endea- 
voured in a long defence to shield his own errors behind those of 
the army ; the deserters from the camp also found an excuse for 
their delinquencies on the same plea, and Captain-general Pigna- 
telli accused the Eletti of the city, the Sedili, and the greater 
part of the nobility with being traitors ; nothing tlierefore was 
heard in the palace but the words treason arji traitors, and menaces 
of future punishment and vengeance. 

On the arrival of the old princesses of France at Palermo, they 
related the scenes they had witnessed at Taranto, and declared the 
popular risings in Puglia real and extensive ; this story w^as con- 
firmed by English officers sent in ships to explore our coasts, and 
a council was accordingly held, in which it was decided to support 
the movement. Among all the councillors, Cardinal Ruffb was the 



1709. THE PARTHEKOPEAN REPUBLIC. 319 

most eager for war, tlie king- therefore ordered him to visit tlie 
fiefs belonging to his family in Calabria, there to sec with his own 
eyes and ascertain the condition of the provinces, and, according to 
circumstances, to advance into the kingdom or return to Sicily ; 
his rank, name, and dignity, might be of use in the enterprise, and 
would shield him from the malice of his enemies. He readily 
complied, and departed provided with only a few followers, and 
still less money, but with unlimited powers, besides large promises 
of assistance. Fabrizio RufFo, crafty by nature, though ignorant 
alike of literature and science, was born of a noble but unprincipled 
race, and having led an irregular life in his youth, had become 
still more corrupt in hik old age ; poor, yet with extravagant tastes, 
he had while young chosen the easy path to the prelacy, and hav- 
ing ingratiated himself with Pope Pius vi., he was appointed to a 
high office in the apostolic chamber, which he retained until, by 
liis too large and sudden acquisition of wealth, he lost his office 
and the pope's favour ; he then returned a rich man to his native 
country, leaving behind him in Rome many influential friends, 
whom, in a corrupt city, he had found it easy to gain by gifts, and 
the allurements of fortune. He asked and obtained from the King 
of Naples, the superintendence of the royal palace of Caserta, but 
afterwards returning into the good graces of Pius, he was made a 
cardinal, and went up to Rome, where he continued to reside until 
1798, but upon the outbreak of revolutions there, he sought shelter 
in Naples, and soon afterwards followed the king to Palermo. 

He reached the shores of Calabria in February 1799, and having 
first communicated with the servants and retainers of his house, 
he landed at Bagnara, preceded by the cross and all the insignia 
of his dignity ; he was received with reverence by the clergy and 
notabilities of the place, and with frantic expressions of joy by the 
people. As soon as the intelligence of his arrival and intentions 
had spread, numbers of the populace from the adjoining districts 
hastened thither, led by gentlemen, priests, or friars, who, when 
they saw one decorated with the purple place himself at their 
head, did not disdain to join in that disorderly and tumultuary war- 
fare. Colonel Winspeare, who formerly commanded the garrison 
of Catanzaro, the auditor Angelo Fiore, the Canon Spasiani, the 
Priest Rinaldi, and with them many soldiers who had deserted or 



320 HISTORY OF THE KIIS^GDOM OF l^AFLES. 1799. 

been dismissed, and malefactors who had just before been infesting 
the country as banditti, besides criminals let loose from the 
dungeons during the tumults, offered themselves to fight for the 
king ; and the Cardinal, after this first success, published the 
decree which appointed him lieutenant or regent of the kingdom. 
He left Bagnara escorted by a numerous but discreditable assem- 
blage of followers, with whose support, and without any fighting, 
but only by the rumour of their approach, he subjugated all the 
cities and towns as far as Mileto. The strong city of Monteleone, 
reputed to be republican, was summoned to surrender and 
threatened with extermination, but the citizens saved their lives 
by offering money, horses, provisions, and arms. At Mileto the 
cardinal assembled as many of the bishops and other ecclesiastics 
of rank as he could collect, with magistrates who had formerly 
been employed under the king, soldiers, and officials, as well as 
such citizens as were influential by their names or wealth ; and 
after laying before them the nature of the charge he had accepted, 
he urged the just and sacred cause of the throne and of religion ; 
and then called upon all to join him who were loyal to their 
king and devout towards God ; wearing as a sign and acknowledg- 
ment thereof the white cross on their arm and the red cockade of 
the Bourbons on their hats. They were promised in recompense, 
besides rewards in heaven, an exemption from the government 
taxes for six years to come, and the profits arising from the war, 
or levied upon the property of rebels, which was from that day 
forth forfeited to the royal exchequer, besides the tribute to be 
imposed upon the cities and towns of all who should oppose them ; 
further, he enjoined them to cut down the accursed trees of liberty, 
and set up crosses in their stead. The army was to be called the 
army of the Holy Faith, in order by this name to indicate the 
sacred object of the war. A solemn procession was then formed 
to the church, and the Cardinal, after pronouncing a loud blessing 
on their arms, continued on his way without encountering any 
opposition, and always triumphant, by Monteleone, Maida, and 
Cutro, towards Cotrone. Cotrone, with weak walls and a small 
citadel on the Ionian Sea, was only defended by its citizens and 
thirty-two French, who tempest-tost on their way from Egypt had 
sought shelter there ; but however high the courage of the garri- 



1799. THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 321 

son, they were short of arms, ammunition, and provisions, and 
were attacked by many tliousand Bourbonists ; after the first 
attempts at resistance, therefore, they demanded conditions of 
surrender ; these were refused by the Cardinal, wlio, not having 
sufficient money to satisfy the greedy multitudes wlio surrounded 
him, and unable to supply their demands by the small gains made 
on the road, had promised them the sack of the city. After a few 
liours of unequal combat between a small and discomfited band, 
and a vast multitude eager to obtain a rich and certain prey, 
Cotrone was taken with the slaughter of her citizens, armed and 
unarmed, and given up to pillage, license, and wanton barbarity 
of every kind. The rioting lasted two days, and on the following 
morninof a ma<]:nificent altar with a cross in the centre was erected 
in the camp ; after mass had been celebrated by a warrior priest 
of the Holy Faith, the Cardinal richly attired in purple, pro- 
nounced a eulogium on the deeds of the two past days, absolved the 
crimes committed in the heat of the fight, and with his arm raised 
on high, made the sign of the cross and blessed the troops ; he 
then placed a garrison in the citadel, and abandoning the scat- 
tered remnant of the inhabitants (the miserable remains of the 
massacre), without a leader and with nothing but the recollection 
of the terror and disasters they had suffered, he departed for 
Catanzaro, another city on the side of the French. 

Arrived in sight of this place he inundated the country round 
with his troops, and sent a message demanding its surrender. 
But Catanzaro, perched upon an eminence, encircled by strong 
walls, and containing a population of sixteen thousand inhabitants, 
provided with arms, and prepared (after the fate of Cotrone) for 
the last extremities rather than submission, replied — that she had 
not rebelled, but had yielded to the power of the French arms, as 
she was now ready to yield to the greater power of the Holy 
Faith ; that she was willing to return to the dominion of the 
King, but on condition that her citizens should be spared, and 
that no inquiry should be made into their opinions or acts in 
favour of the Republic ; that the troops of the Holy Faith should 
abstain from entering the city, and that the Royalist magistrates 
should only be admitted within their walls, under the escort of the 
civic guard ; this was in case peace were accepted ; but if war, 



I 



322 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

they informed the Cardinal that sixteen thousand armed men 
were ready to perish before the walls, rather tlian endure the 
suiFerino^s and indigfuities which liad been inflicted on Cotrone. 
At tliese words RufFo, perceiving that victory was neither certain 
nor easy, feigned moderation, and declaring tliat the disorders at 
Cotrone had been ovving to the obstinate resistance of the city 
having excited the ardour of his troops, he consented that if 
Catanzaro would raise the Bourbon standard, and return to her 
allegiance to the king, he would consent to yield obedience to her 
laws and magistrates ; that a civic guard composed of royalists 
should be the only force demanded by the royal authorities ; that 
neither the opinions of the citizens nor their acts in favour of the 
Republic should be inquired into, and that the Bourbonist troops 
should not enter the city : Catanzaro, on her side, was to pay 
twelve thousand ducats towards the expenses of tlie war. Tlie 
peace thus concluded was maintained, and as all this part of 
Calabria had returned to the king, the Cardinal proceeded towards 
Cosenza. 

Such was the internal condition of the country at the end of 
February, whilst Sicilian and English ships were cruising along 
the coasts, stirring up the people to revolt, attacking the maritime 
cities which were faithful to the new Government, and sending on 
shore armed men, weapons, and the edicts of King Ferdinand, as 
well as newspapers containing facts adverse to the interests of 
France. The Russians and Turks about this time gained possassion 
of several of the Ionian Islands, and were besieging Corfu ; and it 
was currently reported that when they had completed tliis enter- 
prise they would turn to Italy. Nelson had quitted Sicily and 
was sailing about the Mediterranean, while many of the Roman 
cities bordering on our frontier were fighting for the restora- 
tion of their former Government ; risings had commenced at 
Arezzo, a city of Tuscany, and a powerful Austrian army was col- 
lected upon the Adige, only waiting for the signal to commence 
war. It was known that the army of the king in Sicily was 
increased by eighteen thousand fresh soldiers, that General 
Stuart with three thousand English was garrisoning the city of 
Messina, that the ardent friends of monarchy were forming tliem- 
selves in bands to enter the States of Naples, and to increase the 



a THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 323 

strength and courage of the army of the Holy Faith, while the 
sovereign and his people were alike animated with savage fury 
against the French, as may be proved by two facts which occurred 
about this time. 

In the course of this year's campaign a ship hoisting a neutral 
flag, was conveying fifty-seven invalids from Egypt to France, 
among whom were Generals Dumas and Manscoeur, the naturalist 
Cordier, and other celebrated persons, the most remarkable being 
the learned and distinguished geologist Dolomieu. The ship 
having been shattered by a tempest, sought shelter at Taranto, 
trusting to her flag, and the peace which was not yet known in 
Egypt to have been Interrupted. But this confidence was soon 
dispelled ; for the Corsican Boccheciampe, who held possession of 
Taranto, caused the ship to be detained, and the French, including 
Dolomieu, were barbarously shut up in a horrible dungeon, from 
whence they were only removed as prisoners to Messina ; but 
party spirit raging there with great violence, they were thrown 
into still worse dungeons ; Dolomieu, who had been near death in 
a late illness, was demanded by the French Government from the 
King of Sicily, and this request was repeated by the Royal Society 
of London, by the King of Denmark, twice by the King of Spain, 
and by the voice of all the philosophers of Europe, alike horrified 
at his treatment ; but he was not released until after the French had 
obtained fresh victories, when, in the twentieth month of his 
imprisonment, he was included in the conditions of peace with 
Naples, but carried with him so severe a malady, that he soon 
afterwards died, before completing his fifty-first year. 

Another ship which had sailed from Egypt, in company with 
that which was conveying Dolomieu, was caught in the same tem- 
pest, and sought shelter in the port of Agosta, intending to pro- 
ceed to France with the forty-eight persons she had on board, 
soldiers, oflicers, and commissariat officers, all sufiering from blind- 
ness, occasioned by a disease engendered in the climate of Africa. 
But neither their unhappy state, nor the respect which the honour- 
able scars upon the brows of these warriors might have inspired, 
nor the thought that they had been driven to seek shelter from the 
violence of the waves, that their vessel was shivered to pieces, and 
that they had trusted to the faith of treaties, could restrain the 



L 



324 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

ferocity of the people of Agosta, who in armed bands attacked the 
ship from small boats, and inhumanly murdered these blind and 
helpless men. The royalist magistrates did not attempt to inter- 
fere or stop the massacre, and after the restoration of peace with 
France, tlie king refused to punish the murderers, alleging in 
excuse that in popular tumults the guilty were confounded with 
the innocent, and therefore the former must escape the proofs of 
their guilt and their consequent punishment. 

Sucli and many more melancholy facts reached the ears of the 
provisional government, and at length roused them from their 
apatliy; for desirous of peace, they had hitherto refused to believe 
in the necessity of war and punishment. Incredulous of the first 
news, but when forced to believe, confiding in the powerful fasci- 
nations of liberty, they felt assured that, without resorting to 
force, the turbulence of th-e people would shortly subside ; that 
they were impatient only from ignorance, but that as soon as they 
were convinced of the advantages of the new State they would 
indubitably repent their violence, and tranquillity would be 
restored: and they trusted more to the efficacy of harangues, 
explanations, and the eloquence of their emissaries, than to sol- 
diers and artillery. The increasing danger, however, at last some- 
what shook their confidence, and they appealed to the French 
commander-in-chief, requesting him to aid the Republic in repel- 
ling the attempts of the ex-king, supported indeed only by the 
dregs of the populace, but nevertheless alarming from their num- 
bers and ferocity. This request was granted, and two squadrons of 
French and Neapolitans were sent, one to Puglia and the other to 
Calabria ; for the risings in the Abruzzi had met with little and 
fluctuating success, and the insurgents were kept in check by the 
French posts along the line of operation between the Roman States 
and Naples, and by the fortresses of Civitella and Pescara. The 
provinces of Avellino and Salerno were subdued by the columns 
on their way to Puglia and Calabria. The Basilicata occupied 
by these same columns, was soon restored to tranquillity, and 
the only enemies, therefore, yet to be defeated were Ruffo and 
De Cesare. 

The larger of the two columns and the best troops were sent to 
Puglia, in order as soon as possible to recover those provinces which 



1799. 



THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 325 



are the granaries of the nation, and had been prevented sending 
provisions to the famished capital, by the interference of tho 
Bourbonists by hxnd, and of the English by sea. General Duhesme 
was chosen to command that corps, which numbered six thousand 
French, and more than a thousand Neapolitans, under Ettore 
Caraffix, Count di Ruvo. This nobleman was of the high lineage 
of the Dukes d'Andria, the eldest son and heir of his family : a 
liberal from his youth upwards, he had suffered imprisonment in 
Sant' Ehno in 1796, but had escaped with the officer who guarded 
him. He had returned to his country in the army of Championnet, 
and devoted to arms, and ready to engage in enterprises of daring, 
he despised danger, with everything, human or Divine, vice or 
virtue, which stood in the way of his schemes ; he was therefore 
a powerful instrument in revolutionary times. The other corps des- 
tined for Calabria, of one thousand two hundred Neapolitans, which 
was expected to be reinforced on the way by the patriots flying 
before Cardinal Ruffo, was led by Giuseppe Schipani, a native 
Calabresc, and soldier : a lieutenant when dismissed the army, he 
was an able officer though ignorant of science, and had been raised 
to the high position of general under the Republic, in reward for the 
zeal and valour he had displayed as a member of the patriotic socie- 
ties. The first corps, after subjugating Puglia, was ordered to pro- 
ceed to Calabria, while the second was only required to keep the 
army of the Holy Faith in check; the first, therefore, was destined 
for conquest, the second for defence. The despatches of the Govern- 
ment breathed the mild spirit of the rulers, who trusted to effect 
more by a display of their forces, by the moderation of the chiefs, 
by the discipline of the soldiers, and by their own magnanimity 
in granting pardon, than by the use of arms ; this spirit rendered 
them incapable of protecting the interests of an embryo Re- 
public, and was a consequence of enervation produced by long 
servitude. 

Schipani, when traversing Salerno and Eboli, passed near Cam- 
pagna, Albanella, Controne, Postiglione, and Capaccia, all friendly 
cities or towns, and first came in sight of the Bourbonist standard 
flying from the bell-tower of Castelluccia, a little village on the 
summit of a hill, reached by mountain paths. Altliough his ob- 
ject was Calabria and Cardinal Ruffo, this sight so fired his indig- 



326 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

nation, that he turned out of his road to attack the rehel village, 
selecting the most difficult of the tliree ascents, as if in defiance of 
all impediments. The Bourbonists from above perceiving they 
were attacked by regular troops, with artillery carried on mules, 
were seized with a panic, and after holding a tumultuary council 
in the church resolved to surrender. But it haj^pened that Cap- 
tain Sciarpa was present, who accused them of cowardice, and 
proposed, if it were necessary to yield the place, at least to insist 
on the following conditions ; that their return to tlie empire of the 
Republic should be voluntary, and that armed men should not enter 
their village as conquerors. Sciarpa himself was charged to carry 
out this resolution, and he accordingly sent to Schipani demand- 
hig peace, and in order to vaunt the strength of the place, and at 
the same time to assist his own fortunes in a new line, he framed 
his message in the following terms : — " The inhabitants of Castel- 
luccia were desirous of defending their village to the last, but 
Captain Sciarpa not being disinclined toward the Republic, and 
ready to prove his loyalty, if employed in the army of the State, 
has persuaded them to surrender.'' He then proceeded to propose 
conditions. The enemy listened with impatience, and replied that 
he had come to Castelluccia for war and not for peace ; to punish, 
not to reward ; and that the rebels must surrender at discretion, 
or be prepared for the last extremities ; words conveying the 
most atrocious meaning, and as impolitic as barbarous in a civil 
war. 

While reporting to the people who were still collected in the 
church what had passed between him and the enemy, Sciarpa 
added — "Now you see the effects of your cowardice and your pre- 
cipitate resolution of surrender. There are only two courses left 
for me ; if you summon up your courage, I will lead you to battle 
and victory ; if you yield yourselves to a proud and cruel con- 
queror, and with yourselves your effects and your women, I shall 
retire with my possessions by another road which I deem secure, 
and will fight on more advantageous ground, and with a braver 
people.'' They answered in one voice, demanding war, and hardly 
had the priest made the sign of the cross from the altar over their 
arms, and pronounced his blessing on their resolution, than all 
went forth to meet the enemy ; Sciarpa directing their movements, 



ir.a THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 327 

and instructing them how to fight. Meantime the republican 
troops had arrived exhausted at the first houses of the village, and 
had to stand a brisk fire of musketry from invisible enemies, which 
did not however stop tlieir progress : following their General, who, 
sword in hand, excited them by his example and voice, they 
readied the entrance to the town, where they were met by a sharp 
fire, and some fell dead, others wounded, without the appearance 
of an enemy. As courage proved unavailing, the spirit of the men 
began to flag, and their leader sounding a retreat, was preparing 
to withdraw them, wlien the enemy who lay in ambuscade, ruslied 
from behind the walls, and following the fugitives down the slope, 
killed some, captured; others, and dealt with savage cruelty upon 
the prisoners and wounded : Schipani withdrew his troops into 
Salerno, and the event increased the courage and fame of Sciarpa. 

The fortunes of the corps sent to Puglia were very different from 
that just described ; the strongly fortified and hostile cities of 
Troia, Ducera, and Bovine, surrendered at once, and the French 
were gladly welcomed into Foggia, a friendly city. They revived 
the courage of Barletta and Manfredonia, who adhered to the Re- 
public, and prepared to attack Sanseverino, a populous city, which 
liad been reinforced by the arrival of the inhabitants of Gargano, 
all resolved on victory or death. The city had no walls nor had 
it been fortified by its defenders, who trusted to their desperate 
valour and to their numbers, consisting of twelve thousand men 
capable of bearing arms. They proposed to ensconce the bravest 
among them, on a kind of platform covered with olives and vines, 
close to the town, where they might lie in ambuscade and pursue 
the enemy ; when as usual enticed by love of plunder and license 
they should enter the city separately, in search of booty. When 
at Bovine, General Duhesme had punished all rebels with death 

o had been guilty of theft, and even included the French sel- 
lers ; and he now set up a placard, stating these acts of discipline, 
in lieu of threats or promises to the inhabitants of Sanseverino. 

ey, on their side, put several republicans to death, both respect- 

le citizens and priests, only because they entreated for peace ; 
they then informed the General of these cruel acts, calling them 
acts of discipline, after his example or in mockery of his proclama- 
tion. Roused to indignation, Duhesme advanced against Sanse- 



ai 

^Tlie 
in 

m 



328 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

verino on the 25th February. Having learnt the designs of tlie 
Bourbonists by strategy or by spies, he sent a strong detachment 
of troops to skirt the left of tlie hill, to dislodge them from the 
olives, and in the event of victory (which he believed certain) to 
cut off their flight. The Bourbonists guessing the intentions of 
the enemy, and having sufficiently strengthened their first front 
with cannons dragged thither by main force, and by a numerous 
body of light cavalry who scoured the plain, like Numidians, 
rushed out from the w^ood, and fighting valiantly, forced the 
French squadron to retire. 

Another squadron hastened to their assistance, whilst Duhesme 
assaulted the city by means with which the defenders were unac- 
quainted, and having dispersed their cavalry which, though not 
strong, liad harassed his troops, he seized their batteries, sur- 
rounded and gained possession of the hill of olives, after which he 
sounded his trumpets to victory and indiscriminate slaughter. In 
the midst of this discomfiture of the Bourbonists, the first squad- 
ron effected the movement assigned them, and thus the flight of 
the Bourbonists being cut off, and the battle at an end, the mas- 
sacre commenced, in which the French were the more unsparing, 
as they had to revenge the deaths of three hundred of their com- 
rades, at least as many wounded, besides the executions in the 
town, and the insolent replies which had been sent to their offers 
of peace. Three thousand of the inhabitants of Sanseverino were 
lying dead upon the field, and the havoc was still continuing, when 
the women with dishevelled hair, their dresses torn and soiled, and 
carrying their infants in their arms, presented themselves to the 
conqueror, praying that he would stop the slaughter, or consum- 
mate the punishment deserved by rebels on the wives and chil- 
dren of the few men who remained alive. So moving a spectacle 
excited the compassion of the French, who relaxed their severity, 
and reassured the conquered city. 

The example of Sanseverino, which damped the courage of many 
small towns in Fuglia, only served to confirm the cities of Andria 
and Trani in their resolution to resist. They were reinforced by 
numbers who had fled from the fight, and by whom they were en- 
couraged in the belief that Sanseverino had fallen by treachery ; 
an invention not unusual with fugitives, and which meets with too 



1799. THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 

read J credence. General Duhesme having increased liis force by 
eight thousand French from the Abruzzi, prepared to advance ui:)on 
Andria ; wliile at that very moment envoys and hostages from the 
three provinces of Puglia, arrived in his camp. In Naples, mean- 
while, the command of the army had been changed from Cham- 
pionnet to Macdonald, and the aim and phin of that campaign had 
been altered ; the troops were all recalled, except a handful who were 
left in Foggia, and one battalion at Ariano, another at Avellino, 
and a regiment at Nola. The Turks and Russians were besieging 
Corfu, when these news reached the army, and the ships of both 
flags coming within sight on the Ionian and Adriatic Seas, the hopes 
of Trani and Andria ro^e, and the other cities or towns wliich had 
surrendered at the rumour of the approach of the French, now, at 
the rumour of success in an opposite quarter, turned Bourbonists ; 
the hostages likewise took their departure, or escaped, and thus 
regained their liberty. Sanseverino alone, although burning for 
vengeance, deprived of the youngest and bravest of her men, all 
her remaining inhabitants mourning for those killed in battle, and 
every house and inch of ground bearing the marks of recent 
slaughter, was obliged to submit, though bewailing her unhappy 
fate. 

Matters had now reached an extremity, when it became neces- 
sary either to resign Puglia as lost ground, or to reconquer it. A 
fresh squadron of French having been collected at Cerignola, as 
numerous as the first, and placed under the command of General 
Broussier, joined the Neapolitan legion of Ettore CarafFa, and 
directed their march upon Andria. Andria contained a large 
population, and was surrounded by walls with three gates ; after 
the unhappy fate of Sanseverino, she increased her defences, by 
repairing her walls in several places, where they had fallen in 
ruins, by raising new fortifications, and barricading two of her 
gates, digging a wide ditch, and by throwing up a high trencli 
before each. The city was defended by ten thousand Bourbonists, 
aided by the inhabitants, who numbered seventeen thousand. 
Priests and friars used the powerful incentives of religion to ex- 
cite the people ; and, raising a crucifix of colossal size upon a 
large altar in the public square, they asserted that, during the 
celebration of mass, they lieard the holy image declare that no 

VOL. I. 2 b 



I 



330 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

power on earth was sufficient to obtain possession of a city defended 
by the cherubim of paradise, and that a numerous band of soldiers 
and people would shortly arrive to the aid of the inhabitants of 
Andria. These promises were written out in large characters, and 
placed in the hand of the crucified image, there to be read by the 
people. As it chanced, the day before the appearance of the 
French, a battalion of Bourbonists arrived, brought tliither in 
transport ships from Bitonto, and tidings reached Andria that 
English, Russian, and Turkish soldiers were expected in a few 
days ; the predictions, therefore, were confirmed, and the people, 
secure of victory, rejoiced, and had no fear of the approaching 
combat. 

The enemy around Andria divided his forces into three 
columns (as many as there were gates), and attacked, or feigned 
attacks against the city on the best military principles, while the 
defenders kept the assailants at a distance by a discharge of cannon 
and musketry from their ramparts. General Broussier gave the 
signal, and amidst martial sounds and the roar of artillery, the 
Republicans advanced at a charge, and placing the scaling ladders 
against the wall, began to mount them ; but as many were killed 
and more wounded of the bravest and most distinguished of 
their men by the volleys of musketry, stones, and rubbish thrown 
from above by the defenders, a retreat was sounded, and, derided 
and insulted by their opponents, the attacking party returned to 
the camp. Luckily for the French, just at that moment the gate 
towards Trani was burst open by the explosion of a shell, and 
Broussier, with a chosen band of his men, happening to be stationed 
near it, they rushed in ; but as he penetrated into the city, he 
found the battle raging fiercer within, as every house was converted 
into a castle ; and although the second column came up through 
the same gate in support of the first, Broussier was hesitating 
whether to proceed or retire beyond the walls, when he saw Ettore 
CarafFa advancing to meet him with his troops of Neapolitans and 
French. They had been stationed opposite the gate called Barra, 
but unable to succeed in battering it down, and hearing of the 
peril to which Broussier was exposed, they had attacked the walls 
by scaling ladders, and alike indifferent to the loss of their com- 
rades and to their own wounds, had made their way into the city. 



1799. THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 331 

During this assault, Colonel Berger, when seriously wounded on 
the ladder, caused himself to be assisted to mount ; and Ettoro 
Caraffa was seen with a long ladder on his shoulder, and a Neapo- 
litan pennon and a naked sword in his hand, surveying the height 
of the walls, and seeking a place the ladder could reach ; having 
found it, he ascended the first, and entered the city alone. Though 
the whole force was now in Andria the battle was not ended, for 
such was the valour of the Bourbonists, that ten men within a 
weak building sustained the attacks of whole battalions of French 
for many hours, and others gave proofs of no ordinary courage. 
The city of Andria at last succumbed. It had once been a fief, 
and afterwards the rich possession of Ettore Carafia, by whom it 
had just been stormed ; yet in the council of war he proposed that 
it should be burnt to the ground, — a marvellous instance of self- 
denial or thirst for vengeance. This sentence was confirmed by 
his comrades, and the commander-in-chief ordered its execution, 
which was followed by a vast destruction of property, and by misery 
which would be too painful to describe. 

The rage of either party was yet far from satiated. A still 
greater number of Bourbonists were collected in the city of Trani; 
and the army of Broussier proceeded thither, though with dimi- 
nished numbers, for at least five hundred brave soldiers had been 
killed or wounded at Andria. Trani was a stronger city, protected 
by massive walls and bastions, and with a large supply of cannon, 
vessels equipped for war, better disciplined troops, a citadel, and 
the plan of defence prepared. Broussier advanced in three divi- 
sions, and having invested the city in the night, raised several 
batteries, and by three attacks, two of which were feigned, but the 
last, led by himself, real, endeavoured to efiect a breach ; but the 
defenders discovered his designs, and frustrated his attacks. The 
combat was carried on from both sides, those within the walls 
being vigilant and active, those without watching the accidents of 
the day, with a caution which will be appreciated by all acquainted 
with the rules of war ; for though we may often gain our end by 
valour, yet we more frequently secure the victory by taking 
advantage of the errors of our opponents, and seizing opportu- 
nities presented by fortune. In this instance the city was in fact 
taken by an accident, for it happened that upon the sea-shore there 



332 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

lay a little fort, almost concealed by rocl^s and walls, and that day 
left imperfectly garrisoned by the least available of the citizens. 
This fact was discovered by a soldier on the side of the French, 
who hoped to reach it by walking through the sea or by swimming. 
Having informed some of his comrades of his intention, and lioping 
by the smallness of their number to obtain the greater glory, 
they advanced to the assault. The water was breast high, but 
carrying their arms above their heads, they reached the rocks, 
clambered over the ruins of the old wall, and arrived at the top of 
the ramparts, w^ithout being seen by the guards, who, however, 
paid for tlieir carelessness with their lives. One of their comrades, 
whom they had left as a vidette in the camp, informed the com- 
mander-in-chief of their success, and, at a given signal, a large 
detachment of troops was sent thither and entered the fort ; but 
instead of having to make their way by a difficult access through 
the sea and over rocks, they scaled the walls without opposition. 
As soon as the Bourbonists heard of the danger to which they were 
exposed, they hastened in crowds to attempt the recovery of the 
lost castle, but the skill and valour of the French repelled all 
their attacks. 

The defenders were diverted from their vigilance on the other 
fronts of attack by the battle which was thus raging on the coast; 
and General Broussier commanded a second attack on the walls, 
which proved successful ; for although he lost many killed or 
wounded, he forced a way into the city, where the battle became 
still more sanguinary and terrible, but occasioning most loss to the 
French, who were fired at from the houses, and from behind the 
barricades or trenches, almost without seeing an enemy. They 
therefore determined to get to the tops of tlie houses, which in 
Puglia have flat roofs, and to pass from one to the other by break- 
ing through the walls, or making bridges of the beams and other 
timber. The aspect of the battle was now changed ; the defenders 
who had been secure within their houses, surprised by the enemy, 
descended from the roofs, and as the fortifications and heavy artil- 
lery of the citadel were now rendered useless, and the guards be- 
hind the ramparts killed, a new kind of warfare commenced, which 
disheartened the people, and disconcerted the whole scheme for 
their defence. After the destruction of the means they had pre- 



i"'>o. THE PAllTHEKOPEAN REPUBLIC. 333 

pared for resistance, even their resolution to fight to the last fiiiled 
with the injpossibility of success. Their arms dropped from tlieir 
hands, and Trani was in the possession of the enemy ; less as a 
punishment than as a second example, the city was in tlie fury 
of the moment reduced to a heap of corpses and ruins. Ettore 
Caraffa, valiant in war but cruel in council, and who had taken 
the little fort on the sea, and afterwards assisted to gain possession 
of the city, supported the vote by which Trani was ordered to be 
burned. 

Leaving the unhappy city to its fate, the army proceeded to Bari, 
Ceglia, Martina, and other cities or towns where they reanimated 
their friends, subdued their enemies, and imposed heavy taxes on all ; 
for besides having to satisfy the rapacity of foreign troops, Caraffa 
had to provide for his own necessities, as he had no means left but 
those of war by which to maintain his soldiers : himself a native of 
Puglia, he replied to the deputies of those communes who appealed 
to him for the removal or diminution of the tribute unjustly im- 
posed on faithful and friendly cities, by citing as an example the 
necessary rigour which had been employed towards his own city of 
Andria which had been burned at his desire, and that he himself 
was ready to resign his family possessions, his high name, his re- 
pose, and his very existence for his country. The French column in 
Puglia repeatedly dispersed and defeated the Bourbonists in open 
fight, owing to want of skill in their leader De Cesare, who was a 
coward at heart, and profoundly ignorant, for he had been trained 
in domestic servitude, which is unfavourable to the groovth of mili- 
tary courage, and even destroys its germ where bestowed by nature. 
The adherents of the king w^ere discouraged by the number of 
disasters and deaths, and the rule of the Republic w^as once more 
feared and its symbols respected in Puglia. But Duhesme, as well 
as Broussier, was recalled, as both were implicated by Fay poult in 
his charge against Championnet ; and Generals Olivier and Sarra- 
zin were sent to command the troops, with orders not to advance 
into the more distant provinces, and to keep their soldiers prepared 
at the first intimation for a retreat upon Naples. 

General Macdonald suspected that they would not be able to 
maintain their footing in Lower Italy, as the French army in the 
north were meeting with one disaster after another. The Austriana 



334 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

had begun their march, and the Russians were following. The 
battle of Magnano, which was long contested, although occasion- 
ing much loss to the Germans, had forced the French to quit the 
Adige, encamp behind the Mincio, and thence fall back on the 
Oglio. Mantua was invested, Milan threatened, and the army of 
Scherer which had been reduced to 30,000 men, had to face 45,000 
Germans, as well as 40,000 Russians who were advancing behind 
them. The French armies in Piedmont, Tuscany, and Naples were 
at a distance from Lombardy, and engaged in an inglorious war- 
fare against the people of these countries. Such was the state of 
aifairs in Italy, when the Turks and Russians, having taken Corfu 
and the Ionian islands, as well as the islands which had once be- 
longed to Venice, despatched forty ships of the line containing 
32,000 soldiers to the coasts of Italy, and the Italians who hated 
the French, because they were foreigners and innovators, and for 
their depredations, supported their enemies, and hoped for greater 
freedom at the hands of the Turks, and the soldiers of the north. 

The state of the interior was even worse ; for in the provinces 
beyond Puglia, the Bourbonist party was increasing in numbers 
and daring. Pronio and Rodio had recovered for the king almost 
every city and town of the Abruzzi ; and while avoiding encount- 
ers with the French, and leaving them unmolested and masters of 
the field, wherever they encamped they persuaded the people to 
return to their former attachment to their sovereign. Mammone 
occupied Sora, San Germane, and all the country watered by the 
Liri ; Sciarpa had gained possession of Cilento, and menaced the 
gates of Salerno, while Cardinal Ruffo, proceeding along the south 
of Calabria, attacked the cities of Corigliano and Rossano, and, 
dividing his chief band, sent Licastro against Cosenza, and Mazza 
against Paola, the only cities of that province which continued 
their adherence to the Republic. Paola fell, and the liberals there 
repaired to Cosenza, while Cassano and Rossano obtained miserable 
conditions at a high price. Cosenza alone continued to resist. 
One De Chiaro, who had been chosen leader, because an ardent 
liberal, commanded the troops there ; he had 3000 Calabrese under 
him, and though the city was unprovided with walls, it was pro- 
tected in one place by trenches, in another by houses and fortified 
mounds, and, in its largest circumference, by the river Crati, by the 



i 



1799. THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 335 

two branches of which it was almost surrounded. There was an 
abundance of arms and provisions, and the inhabitants were not 
wanting in resolution. But when their hopes were at the highest, 
the Bourbonists entered without opposition at the place where De 
Chiaro with his largest force was stationed, and after having by 
his example and words seduced as many of his own men as he 
could, he led the enemy treacherously to the other posts, and thus 
the city was taken in a few hours. Some of those who continued 
faithful fled across the river, and by the valour of their arms held 
out until night ; others by pursuing wild mountain paths reached 
the shore and embarked ; others trusting to former friends were 
betrayed, while some by a happy chance effected their escape. 

The cardinal (his numbers increased by the numerous hordes of 
De Chiaro) wisely turned to Puglia, where he hoped the news of 
his arrival would reanimate the spirit of the royalists, which had 
been discouraged by recent events ; though ignorant of the art of 
war, he understood that of exciting civil turmoils, and conducted 
the difficult enterprise with skill. As his army was composed of 
a set of ruffians, robbers, and desperate characters, he permitted 
cruelty, rapine, and other crimes, in order to insure success. 
Many of the bishops and clergy, of high rank from distant parts 
of the country, secretly concerted revolutionary plans with him, 
while he stimulated their zeal if lax, and checked it w^hcre prema- 
ture. He always addressed them in the conciliatory but equivocal 
language of an ecclesiastic, and contrived to spread tidings of the 
near approach of his troops in Puglia ; the courage of the royalists 
therefore reviving, the pretended Duke of Saxony again took the 
field in the southern towns of Tiiranto and Lecce. 

The Cardinal advanced slowly in Calabria, so as to allow time to 
spread the news of the decline of the Republic ; he reduced to 
obedience the extensive region of the Basilicata, which is washed 
by the Ionian Sea, and abounds in corn and cattle, men and 
cities. General Macdonald meantime recalled the French troops 
from Puglia, but their march was conducted with so much skill, 
as rather to appear a military stratagem than a retreat ; but the 
Corsican De Cesare no sooner heard that the land was cleared of 
the enemy, than he advanced cautiously to take possession. Just 
then the envoys of our Republic returned from France, where they 



336 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

had been sent to obtain a formal recognition of the Neapolitan 
Government, and to conclude a league of amity, and they brought 
back tidings that the Directory had, under various pretexts, re- 
fused our requests, thus betraying their intention of abandoning 
the country to its unhappy fate — a country which had suffered 
from its attachment to France since 1 793, wliicli had by her been 
changed into a Republic, had paid her tribute, been impoverished 
for her sake, and which she was now about to deliver into the 
liands of former tyrants — the usual fate of a people who commit 
their destinies to the keeping of foreigners ! Along w^th the 
envoys, came the French Commissioner Abrial to institute a better 
organization of the Neapolitan Republic ; for, among the excuses 
put forward by the Directory, was the imperfect form of govern- 
ment bestowed upon us by Championnet. Abrial was reputed an 
honest man, a friend of liberty, and thoroughly versed in the 
subject of the people's rights and modern theories of government, 
and his residence in Naples only served to increase his already 
high reputation. 

He took the Government of France as a model for that of 
Naples, and confided the legislative power to twenty-five citizens, 
and the executive to five, assisted by four ministers. He himself 
selected the persons who were to fill these three offices, and while 
retaining many of the former government, he added new, and 
changed them frequently with others. Among the new was the 
physician Domenico Cirillo, who, on receiving intimation of his 
appointment, answered, " The danger is great, but the honour still 
greater ; I am willing to dedicate my poor talents, my sm.all 
means and my life, to the Republic.'' The new Government im- 
mediately entered upon office with constitutional forms either bor- 
rowed from France or such as those now in power judged best ; the 
constitution proposed by Mario Pagano, although long discussed, 
had not yet been agreed upon, and was therefore handed over for 
examination to the second Legislative Congress, which, being re- 
lieved from the responsibility of conducting the affairs of State, 
were now wholly occupied with the important study of new laws, 
codes, systems of administration, finance, feudalism, the army, 
public worship, and national education ; after which their atten- 
tion was directed to the erection of maofnificent monuments in 



1790. THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 337 

honour of the Republic. For this end tliey invited architects to 
compete in a design for the construction of a Pantheon, where the 
names of Deo, Vitaliano, and Galliani, were to be inscribed in 
legible characters ; they decreed a monument to Torquato Tasso 
in his birthplace at Sorrento, and that, where the ashes of Virgil 
repose, a tomb should be raised in marble on the spot, worthy of 
his name. 

AVhilst the representatives of the Republic were planning schemes 
of future greatness. Cardinal Ruffo was engaged with the siege of 
Altamura, a large city in Puglia, strong both from its position 
and fortifications, and still stronger by the valour of its inhabitants. 
But the Cardinal, joined by the Corsican, and emboldened by his 
first taste of success, pitched his camp in sight of the walls, and 
began the attack. The Bourbonists, though more undisciplined 
than ever, had gained in military experience, and were increased 
by the number of veteran soldiers and others sent them from Sicily, 
or who had joined as volunteers ; they were well provided with 
cannon, material of war, field artillery, and gunners, and were 
superior in everything to their opponents, except in valour. The 
attacks continued fruitless for many days, and were attended with 
much loss, which increased the rage of the assailants, and the 
courage of the citizens, who witnessed from their walls the religious 
rites performed by the Cardinal in the camp. He had erected an 
altar beyond the range of the enemy's fire, and caused mass to be 
celebrated every morning, while, attired in his purple robes, he 
pronounced a panegyric on those who had fallen the previous day, 
prayed for their intercession as if they had been saints, and pro- 
nounced a blessing, making the sign of the cross over the arms 
which were that day to be used against a city in rebellion against 
God and the king. 

Religious ceremonies were likewise taking place within the city. 
The people there were adoring the cross in their churches, where 
they vvere excited to fight by the w^ords and symbols of liberty. 
Provisions were scarce, stores of ammunition still more scarce ; 
and if the liberality of the rich, and the economy of the citizens, 
relieved them from one kind of privation, the necessity of keeping 
up a rapid and continuous fire increased their dread of the second. 
Ignorant of the art of fusing the church bells, the citizens melted 

VOL. r. 2 F 




1^38 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

down all the metal off their houses for projectiles ; and as they 
were unable to aim correctly with stones blown from the guns, 
they made use of copper money, and thus the roar of the artillery 
did not cease until their powder was exhausted ; the enemy then 
advanced their batteries close to the wall, and a breach being 
opened, proposed to the inhabitants that they should surrender at 
discretion. This was refused, because (if the nature of the Cardi- 
nal had not that day suddenly changed) they knew that he only 
intended to spare the lives of the assailants, and none of those of 
the citizens ; that they would thus be destroyed without risk to 
their destroyers, and that death would be the harder to bear when 
deprived of their arms and the means of resistance. The citizens 
of Altamura, therefore, defended the breach with their swords, and 
with beams of wood and stones, killing many of the enemy ; but 
when they perceived the city was taken, all who were able, men 
and women, left by the gate where the enemy were fewest, and 
flying and defending themselves to the last, made their escape. 
The fate of those who remained was horrible, for the conquerors 
showed no mercy ; they killed women, old men, and children, and 
committed every atrocity. Neither Andria nor Trani, nor perhaps 
(if history speak true) Alesia nor Saguntum, could compare with 
the destruction and slaughter w^hich took place at Altamura. This 
infernal scene lasted three days, and on the fourth, the Cardinal, 
after absolving the army of their sins, gave them his blessing, and 
proceeded to Gravina, which he also sacked. 

The bands of Pronio, Sciarpa, and Mammone, with other ad- 
venturers, who were daily turning with the wheel of fortune, ad- 
vanced more slowly, but with not less success. Never were the 
temptations to selfish ambition stronger, nor oaths less respected. 
The Cardinal gladly welcomed the traitors, commended their 
treachery, and promised higher rewards for greater achievements, 
should these even involve a crime, thus still further corrupting 
the already corrupt morals of the people. The republican cities in 
the Basilicata, though valiantly defending themselves, finally sur- 
rendered to Sciarpa, on condition that the lives of the citizens 
should be spared, but consenting to resign their liberty, and sub- 
mit to the Bourbons. The provinces of Abruzzo, with the ex- 
ception of Pescara and a few towns garrisoned by the French, 



175)9. THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 339 

Calabria, and Puglia, had now all wholly returned to their alle- 
giance to tlic king, and the Republic was confined to a few miles 
round Naples. General Macdonald was petitioned to send his 
soldiers against the rebels, but ho replied that military reasons 
obliged him to decline. The republicans, though uneasy, were 
not yet alarmed, when the General pretending that residence in 
a luxurious city was causing a decline in military discipline, an- 
nounced his intention of encamping his soldiers at Caserta, con- 
cealing the fact that he liad received news of the disasters in Italy, 
and that Scherer had been several times defeated by the united 
Austrians and Russians ; that the battle of Cassano had been lost 
by Aloreau, and Milan .taken by the enemy who had crossed the 
Po, and occupied Modena and Reggio ; and that the Italian people, 
either from ignorance or because irritated at the French spoliation, 
had joined the adversaries of France. The activity of the Bour- 
bonists divulged these disasters, and discovered the deceptions 
practised by the French general, who, roused by attacks on all 
sides, proclaimed in an edict: — 

" That every town or city in rebellion against the Republic 
shall be burnt and levelled to the ground. 

" Cardinals, bishops, abbes, curates, and all ministers of Divine 
worship, shall be held responsible for acts of rebellion in the places 
where they reside, and shall be liable to the punishment of death. 

" Every rebel shall be liable to the punishment of death, and 
every accomplice, whether lay or spiritual, shall be treated as a 
rebel. 

" None are permitted to ring a double peal, and, wheresoever 
heard, the ecclesiastic of that place shall be punished by death. 

" Whoever shall spread news adverse to the French, or to the 
Parthenopean Republic, shall be declared a rebel and suffer death. 

" The loss of life shall be accompanied with loss of property." 

The army of Macdonald was in camp at Caserta, when 500 
soldiers of the King of Sicily, and a considerable body of English, 
landed from Anglo-Sicilian vessels on the shores of Castellamare. 
These soldiers, aided by the Bourbonists and the batteries from 
the ships, took possession of the city and the little castle which 
protects the port. Having mastered the place, they put many of 
their opponents to death, and the garrison of the fort, although 



i 



340 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

French, surrendered on terms. When the peasantry of the small 
villages round Lettere, Gragnano, and the rude population of the 
neighbouring mountains, learnt what had occurred, they hastened 
to the spot. The beautiful city of Castellamare was given up to 
pillage and every disorder. At the same time, an English regiment, 
accompanied by a considerable force of Bourbonists, landed near 
Salerno, took that city, and roused Yietri, Cava, Citara, Pagani, 
and Nocera, to revolt in favour of the king ; after putting a num- 
ber of the inhabitants to death, and collecting much plunder, they 
formed the rabble (who had hastened thither from all parts in search 
of booty, rather than from any interest in the war) into bands of 
soldiers. When this intelligence reached the French camp, though 
unable to terrify them, it roused their indignation at the insult 
offered their name and valour. 

On the 28th April, General Macdonald with a large detachment 
of troops, and General Vatrin with another not less strong, ad- 
vanced to the encounter of the enemy. Macdonald came up with 
them on the banks of the Sarno, fortified by entrenchments and 
artillery ; but on finding themselves attacked they fled, abandon- 
ing their cannon and a few of their men, who had been disabled. 
The conqueror next subdued the towns of Lettere and Gragnano, 
and descended on Castellamare, where the English and Sicilians, 
and many of the Bourbonists, were escaping in crowds in the 
ships. A fleet of the Republic, which had left the port of Naples 
in the night, attacked them valiantly, and although the wind was 
unfavourable and drove them beneath the bows of the hostile 
frigates, they prevented the escape of many, who falling into the 
hands of the conqueror, were killed or detained prisoners. The 
fruits of this victory to the French were three royal standards, 
seventeen cannon, fifty Sicilian soldiers, and as many Bourbonists ; 
besides having satiated their revenge for the insults offered to the 
fame of their arms. In the middle of the night, when the Anglo- 
Sicilian vessels were far out at sea, though still within sight of 
the city, the town of Gragnano and several houses were set on 
fire. This destruction of property was disgraceful both to those 
who gave the order, and to those who executed their command, 
because it was useless for the war, and proceeded from a savage 
thirst for vengeance. 



1799. THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 341 

General Vatrin, with still greater inhumanity, put three 
thousand of the enemy to death, sparing none of the prisoners 
except those who belonged to the regular army, and a few Bour- 
bonists, whom he reserved only to hand over to the tribunals, in 
order that they might be made a tremendous example. He sent 
triumphantly to Naples fifteen cannon taken in battle, with three 
standards, one of King George of England, and two of King 
Ferdinand of Sicily, and with a long file of Sicilian, English, 
and Neapolitan prisoners. The rebel cities, though they had now 
returned to their allegiance to the Republic, had to pay heavy 
fines to the conqueror. 

But the day had arrived when the Parthenopean Republic was 
to be abandoned to her own resources ; General Macdonald came 
to Naples from Caserta, and addressed the Provisional Government 
assembled to receive him, to this effect : — a State which is pro- 
tected by foreign arms cannot be wholly free, and the Neapolitan 
finances are unable to maintain the French army ; nor does Naples 
need their assistance, provided the friends of liberty will volun- 
teer to attack the disorderly bands of the Holy Faith ; he there- 
fore expressed his determination, after leaving strong garrisons 
in Sant' Elmo, Capua, and Gaeta, to depart with the rest of his 
army, to disperse (as he hoped) the enemies of the Republic who 
had descended into Italy, and who trusted for success less to their 
own weapons than to discord among the Italian people, and to 
their long habits of servitude. Wishing the Parthenopean Re- 
public all prosperity, he would inform his Government how worthy 
the Neapolitans had proved themselves of liberty ; and that the 
people and the populace were not to be confounded, since these 
last alone were fighting for servitude under the banner of their 
tyrants ; but that even they might be easily induced to change, 
like all who are only covetous of booty and plunder. After the 
members of the Government had replied with friendly and con- 
gratulatory addresses, he took his leave and returned to the camp. 
Incredible as it may appear, the Republicans rejoiced at the pro- 
posed departure of the French, for, simple and straightforward 
themselves, it appeared to them impossible for human nature to 
have any aversion to freedom ; and they believed that the late 
rebellions had been caused by the excesses, exactions, and in- 



I 



342 



HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 



science of the conquerors ; thej therefore felt assured that on 
proclaiming their departure, the hordes of whom the army of the 
Holy Faith was composed would disperse of themselves, and that 
the remnant of tliat party would fly discomfited to Sicily. This 
gave rise to a report that the Prince di Leporano, a hrigadier in 
the Royalist army serving under the Cardinal, had deserted that 
banner, and liad gone over to the Republic ; that he liad taken 
his chief prisoner, and further, that Sciarpa, Fra Diavolo, and 
Pronio, were left alone with a few followers ; besides other false 
rumours. 

Meantime, on the 7th of May, the camp at Caserta was raised, 
and the French army set out in two divisions ; one-half led by 
Macdonald, taking the road of Fondi and Terracina, and carrying 
Avith them the great park of artillery and the baggage ; and the 
other, under Vatrin, marching by Sangermano and Ceperano. At 
the same time. General Coutard, who was commanding in the 
Abriizzi, collected his squadrons, and marched by the shortest road 
through Tuscany, confiding the fortresses of Civitella and Pescara 
to Ettore Caraffa, who, returning with the French from Puglia, 
had proceeded with his followers to the Abruzzi. Macdonald and 
Coutard met with no opposition. Yatrin having taken Sangermano 
in fight, reached Isola, a small town of the district of Sora, but 
was there obliged to halt. Isola is situated at the junction of two 
rivers, large tributaries of the Garigliano, by which it is surrounded, 
and could only be reached by bridges which the Bourbonists had 
broken down ; as the city was thus protected by the rivers, and 
girt about by an ancient wall, the inhabitants felt secure and vvere 
full of courage. Yatrin sent to demand a passage, which, he said, 
if denied he would use force to effect ; but the defenders, either 
despising or refusing to acknowledge the rules by which a herald is 
held sacred, dismissed him by a discharge of musketry. There was 
no ford in either river, a heavy rain was falling, the French were 
in want of provisions, and to conquer had therefore become an act 
of necessity. The legion of Yatrin was marching along the left 
bank of one river, while the legion of Olivier marched along the 
right of the other in search of a ford ; but not finding one, they 
constructed a bridge of fascines and gabions, with other timber, 
which was, however, too weak and narrow, and but ill adapted to 



i 



1799. THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 343 

bear the weight of gun-carriages and the rapid marcli of many 
soldiers across it ; therefore, while half the legion were passing 
over the bridge, they with their hands and ropes assisted the 
other half, who were swimming; and the whole army thus crossing 
the stream, reached the walls. The besieged were not however 
alarmed. 

By the help of some old ruins, and by demolishing the walls of 
some of the houses, the French penetrated into that end of the 
town which is again divided by the river, and at the spot where 
the bridge had been broken, a fresh obstacle was presented to the 
conqueror. But fortune was on their side, the besieged had not 
destroyed the piles, ai],d the beams yet remained near the banks ; 
the bridge was therefore restored in a few hours ; but the Bour- 
bon ists now finding their hopes at an end, as well as their means 
of defence, made their escape witli only a small loss, proud of their 
defence and the number of deaths they had occasioned the enemy. 
The French vented their rage on the unfortunate townspeople, and 
finding a large quantity of wine in the cellars, drank until they 
were intoxicated, when, excited to madness, the massacre, pillage, 
and license, was prolonged throughout the night. The rain fell in 
torrents, and the town was still burning when the sun rose upon a 
heap of corpses, ashes, and mire, where there had once been 
houses and churches. 



844 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 



CHAPTER III. 

THE FALL OF THE REPUBLIC AFTER THE RETREAT OF THE 
FRENCH ARMY. 

Hardly liad the French army crossed the frontier, when the 
Republican Government proclaimed their newly acquired inde- 
pendence, and abolishing the taxes for the war, diminishing former 
imposts, and enumerating the political advantages in prospect, 
they enjoined and entreated the people to cease from afflicting the 
country by internal strife, to return to peaceful labours, and to 
enjoy the blessings destined for them by Heaven. Fearing, however, 
that the result of this proclamation might not fully answer their 
expectations, they prepared with all diligence for the exigencies 
of war. The troops which had been hitherto divided into several 
columns were collected in legions ; fresh soldiers were levied by 
conscription ; General Roccaromana was commanded to raise a 
regiment of cavalry ; the number of troops under Schipani was 
increased, and two fresh legions were formed, the command being 
given to Generals Spano and Wirtz. Spano was a Calabrese, who 
had long served, though in the lowest ranks of the army ; and 
"VVirtz, a Swiss who had formerly been a colonel in the pay of the 
king; but upon Ferdinand's departure, absolved from his oaths 
and obligations, he had enrolled himself among the friends of 
liberty under the banners of the Republic. The Directory next 
appointed Gabriel Manthone commander-in-chief of the army ; the 
same who had been first one of the Provisional Government, and 
afterwards minister of war : he was an experienced ofiicer and 
skilful duellist, with a warm heart, courageous temper, and pos- 
sessed of natural eloquence, but was not remarkable for intel- 
lectual endowments. When proposing in the legislative council a 
decree, by which all mothers who had lost their sons in the cause 



1799. THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 345 

of freedom, should be assigned a large pension with other honours, 
he concluded his speech in these words : " Citizen legislators, I 
trust that my mother may likewise have to demand of you the 
fulfilment of this generous decree." He indeed fell a sacrifice 
in the cause of freedom, but unhappily his mother received only 
tears of compassion, and none of the rewards assigned her by the 
laws. 

Another troop was formed under the name of the Legion 
Calabra, who, without a uniform or common quarters, or even 
being organized into a regiment, joined only when called out, and 
fought under a black banner with the inscription, " To conquer, 
revenge, and die.'' They were three thousand men, most of them 
Calabrese, personally hostile to Cardinal Ruffo, by whom they had 
been conquered and forced to fly their country ; so that they 
bore with them the remembrance of past injuries and wounds, to 
stimulate them to vengeance. As a review of the republican 
army was proposed, the troops were drawn up several lines deep, 
along the magnificent Strada di Toledo, and around the tree of 
liberty in the Piazza Nazionale, where, amidst a vast concourse of 
spectators, the members of the Government, the generals, and the 
commander-in-chief, Manthone arrived, followed by the artillery 
and the royal standards which had been captured in the engage- 
ments at Castellamare and Salerno ; a number of portraits of the 
royal family were also borne along, which the unsparing police had 
seized in the city and provinces, as proofs of guilt. The proces- 
sion was closed by a convoy of two files of prisoners, soldiers and 
royalists, who believing they were in that day and in that place 
to suffer death as a punishment and example, walked in fear and 
trembling. Beside the tree a pile was burning intended to con- 
sume the standards and effigies. 

The commander-in-chief addressed the army, while a member 
of the Government addressed the people ; the royal effigies were 
then ordered to the flames ; but the republicans snatching them 
from the hands of the executioner, dragged them in the mire, and 
tearing them to rags, scattered them to the winds. The minister 
of finance next exhibited a large bundle of bank paper, to the 
value of 1,600,000 ducats, which, amidst the great poverty of the 
State, had been redeemed in a few short months by the economy 



84)6 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

of the republican government, and liad by as much diminished 
the national debt ; as the best means of getting rid of them, these 
papers were likewise thrown upon that pile, prepared to revenge 
the wrongs of the country, and were there consumed. Lastly, the 
prisoners were called before the tree, and the minister of justice 
read the decree of the Directory, in which they were said to have 
been misled rather than guilty, and therefore those who had been 
soldiers were oiFered permission to enter the service of the Repub- 
lic, while the Bourbonists were pardoned and set at liberty. Their 
chains were then struck off, and sudden joy succeeding despair, 
they ran almost frantic with delight among the people, shouting 
the praises of the Republic, and their wishes for its prosperity ; 
while, to increase their happiness, the bystanders relieved their 
poverty, and exhorted them to undeceive their misguided fellow- 
citizens respecting the power and magnanimity of the Government. 
Thus ended the ceremony ; but the feastings continued the greater 
part of the day, the people dancing round the tree, singing hymns 
in praise of liberty, and concluding marriages and other contracts, 
as in a consecrated temple. 

These demonstrations of joy were but short-lived ; for the fol- 
lowing day a large fleet of the enemy entered the bay, and as they 
w^ere suspected of an intention to attack the city by exciting 
tumults among the populace, the Government issued orders to arm 
the few vessels belonging to the Republic, repair the port batteries, 
and construct new as speedily as possible. No sooner was the 
danger and these orders known than the citizens volunteered their 
assistance ; and even ladies, distinguished for noble birth and re- 
fined manners, were seen labouring w^ith hands unaccustomed to 
such hard work, carrying stones and earth for many days : the 
port being thus secured, the enemy turned in the direction of the 
islands of Procida and Ischia, where they landed their soldiers, 
killed or captured the officials or adherents of the Republic, and 
re-established the royal government, appointing magistrates to 
punish the rebels. Cruel condemnations followed, and it was then 
that the name of the judge Speciale was first mentioned, which 
afterwards acquired a terrific notoriety. 

The inhabitants of the islands arrived as fugitives in the metro- 
polis, begging for aid ; and the republican government, with more 



»). THE PAllTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 347 

generosity than prudence, determined with a few ships and a small 
body of soldiers, to attack an enemy of much greater numerical 
force. Admiral Caracciolo was then in Naples, having returned 
thither with the permission of the King of Sicily ; distinguished 
for his success in naval engagements, and for his patriotism, he 
held the supreme command of the Neapolitan navy, and was now 
ordered to recover Procida and Ischia. The republicans, though 
only three against ten, left the port of Naples in full spirit for the 
enterprise; and fighting valiantly throughout the whole day, caused 
much loss and damage to the enemy, and suffered no less them- 
selves. They might have effected more, but as they were on the 
point of landing at P^-ocida, the wind, which had been all along 
adverse, blew a storm towards evening, and obliged the little ves- 
sels of the Republic to return into port, neither as conquerors nor 
conquered ; though highly commended for the courage and skill 
they had displayed. 

Meantime the royalist party had been secretly at work in Naples, 
and little disheartened by the rejoicings and manifestations in 
favour of their opponents, were concerting alarming plots against 
the Republic. A vender of crystal had enlisted a numerous body 
of Lazzaroni on the royalist side, who, indifferent to the success of 
either party, swore to support the throne, bribed by a promise of 
rewards and booty. Another leader called Tanfiino, headed a 
numerous band of conspirators, and laid a scheme with the king 
and queen of Sicily, w^ith Cardinal Ruffo, and with other chiefs of 
the royalist bands, to carry on a civil war within the country ; 
money was given him to distribute among his followers, and he 
collected arms to raise a disturbance ; he then prepared his plan 
of action, and assigned each conspirator the part he was to play. 
The queen when writing of this man called him a faithful servant 
and subject, a friend dear to her and to the throne. The reader 
must be here reminded that the men on whom the sovereigns of 
Sicily lavished words of friendship and affection, were of the lowest 
description, who had sprung from the very dregs of the populace, 
and who were sullied by crimes or their consequent punishment: 
Era Diavolo, Mammone, Pronio, Sciarpa, and Guarriglia. But the 
most formidable of all the conspiracies was that of Baker. He was 
a Swiss who had long been resident in Naples, and was related to 



S48 



HISTOKY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 



families devoted to the Bourbon cause, to which he was also 
attached bj motives of private ambition. He contrived to com- 
municate by secret messages with the enemy's ships, and it was 
agreed that on a feast-day, when the people were plunged in care- 
less amusement, the Sicilian and English fleet was to throw shells 
into Naples, and thus induce the soldiers to hurry back to the 
castles and port batteries, and leave the city defenceless ; when it 
would be easy to excite a tumult, everything being already pre- 
pared, and thus the success of the undertaking would be secured. 
In the midst of the turmoil they prepared to put to death all who 
were rebels to the king, to burn their houses, and thus, with the 
power in their hands, obtain the means of gratifying their revenge. 
Everything being so far arranged, the conspirators went about 
the city marking the doors and walls of the houses in various ways, 
to signify who were to be spared and who destroyed, according as 
had been iniquitously determined in their meeting ; but as persons 
belonging to either party frequently resided under the same roof, 
or were of the same family, papers were secretly distributed, the 
owner of which was to be secure from attack. One of these papers 
was presented by Captain Baker, the brother of the chief conspira- 
tor, to one Luigia Sanfelice, a young woman to whom he was 
attached, and when giving her the paper, he explained its purpose, 
and thus betrayed the impending danger. This act was the more 
generous on his part, as the woman he loved did not return his 
affection ; she accepted the paper with thanks, though not for her- 
self, but to bestow it on another, an ofiicer in the army, an ardent 
partisan of the Republic, and who she could have no doubt would 
be one of the victims on the conspirators' list. This young man, 
of tlie name of Ferri, revealed all he had learnt from her of the 
plot to the Government, showed the paper, and gave the names of 
those concerned in the discovery, proud that he and the woman he 
loved should thus be the means of saving their country. Luigia 
Sanfelice was called up for examination, and questioned respect- 
ing the facts; ashamed of the discovery of the feelings which had 
prompted her to this act, and of having denounced the plot, as well 
as of the information she had given, and dreading the punishment 
which might possibly ensue, she, however, hoped by an ingenuous 
confession to plead for pity with her judges ; she, therefore, re- 



17P9. THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 349 

> Celled all she knew, except the name of liira who had given her 
the paper, protesting with masculine deteiTnination rather to die 
than prove herself so ungrateful as to injure the kind friend who 
had wished to save her life. What she had already told, however, 
with the handwriting and marks on the paper, was sufficient to lead 
to the discovery of the leaders, who were thrown into prison, their 
arms and the rest of their papers seized, and thus the clue to the 
whole conspiracy was obtained, and the plot crushed : Luigia San- 
felice was dreading public condemnation, when she heard herself 
called the saviour of the Republic, and the mother of her country. 

When the danger the city had incurred was known, the alarm 
was increased by discovering marks or signs upon the doors of 
houses and on walls, which, whether real or accidental, were all 
supposed to signify the massacre of those within. Numbers were 
found on the public buildings, on the National Bank, and on the 
Episcopal Palace. The archbishop of that time. Cardinal Zurlo, 
was an old rival of Cardinal RuiFo, and envious of the success, 
while afraid of the power of his enemy, he pointed to him as the 
chief cause of the misfortunes of the State, declaring, that instead 
of being a pillar of religion and of the Church, as he vaunted him- 
self in his Pastoral Letters, he was rather a calamity and a dis- 
grace to both ; he therefore passed an anathema upon him ; while 
Cardinal Rufib in his turn excommunicated Cardinal Zurlo, call- 
ing him an enemy of God, the Church, the pope, and the king. 
The clergy were divided in opinions and sentiments ; but while 
the religious and virtuous adhered to Zurlo, all the evil-disposed 
were on the side of Ruifo. 

But by the abuse of temporal weapons, public opinion had 
already lost its power, and all the provinces submitted to the king; 
the metropolis, and a small circuit around, alone obeyed the exist- 
ing government. Ettore Caraffa, with a little band of republicans, 
after several conflicts outside of Pescara, having amply provisioned 
that fortress, retired within its walls ; the French remained passive 
in Sant' Elmo, Capua, and Gaeta ; the troops of the Republic were 
few ; the bands of the Holy Faith countless ; for besides loyalty 
to the king, they were influenced by motives of ambition, the ad- 
vantages to be gained on the winning side, the impunity granted 
)ast crimes, and the pardon to all deserters from the republican 



350 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

party. About a thousand Turks and Russians landed at Taranto, 
led by Marshal Count Micheroux, and having joined Cardinal 
Ruffo, placed themselves under his orders. They seized and im- 
posed a fine on the city of Foggia, and afterwards on Ariano and 
Avellino, and showed themselves before the little town of Cardi- 
nale, and at Nola. Meantime Pronio, who on the confines of 
the Abruzzi had enrolled some of the fugitives from Rome and 
Arezzo, scoured the country until within sight of Capua ; Salerno, 
Cava, and the cities lately conquered by the French, were restored 
by Sciarpa to their allegiance to the king, and he then, with his 
main force, took up his quarters at Nocera. Fra Diavolo and 
Mammone united their bands in the districts of Sessa and Teano, 
and waited the word of command to proceed. The Republic, re- 
duced to a weak condition, was at once therefore attacked by 
Neapolitans, Sicilians, English, Romans, Tuscans, Russians, Por- 
tuguese, Dalmatians, and Turks, while hostile and powerful fleets 
were cruising in the Mediterranean. The French fleet consisted of 
twenty-five men of war, the Spanish seventy, the English forty- 
seven in three divisions, the Russian four, the Portuguese five, 
the Turks three, the Sicilians two ; besides frigates, cutters, and 
brigs innumerable, sailing under the above-mentioned flags. Thus 
the French and Spaniards together only formed a combined fleet 
of seventy vessels, their adversaries upwards of ninety ; while in 
Naples they were still expecting the arrival of the fleet of France 
and Spain, which had been promised by the French Directory. 

In order to enable the friendly fleet to enter the port securely, 
and be of use to the Republic, it was necessary to make a diversion, 
or repulse the Bourbonist troops which were arriving in numbers to 
press the siege of the city. A council of war was held ; General Ma- 
tera, a Neapolitan who had fled to France in 1795, had returned to 
his country a chef-de-bataillon, and had since been appointed a ge- 
neral of the Republic, a brave officer, but somewhat lax in his morals, 
and easy in his conscience, proposed to collect our soldiers, who had 
been sent out in detachments, into one army, and to increase their 
numbers by the thousand French, who had been left to garrison 
the fortresses, and who had been promised to him by their leader 
Meghan, on condition of paying as their price the sum of half a 
million of ducats. The squadrons of the Republic being thus strong 



179;). THE FARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 351 

ill numbers and skill, he oiiered to lead tliem to attack and destroy 
the largest band of Cardinal RuiFo ; if fortune should prove propi- 
tious to throw the Cardinal into prison, and then turn to the attack 
of the bands of Pronio, Sciarpa, and Mammone, whom he expected 
would lay down their arms at the first rumour of his achievements, 
before coming to blows. He further proposed that the partisans of 
the Republic should shut themselves up in the castles, and guard 
them, wliile the city should be abandoned to the strife of factions, 
until the republican army, having conquered the country round, 
should return in triumph to punish the rebels. The poverty of the 
treasurywas no obstacle to his scheme, " For,"' the General declared, 
" if the government wil} make me master of the lives and property 
of twelve wealthy persons, whom I shall point out by name, I 
promise within two days to place in the treasury the half million 
rapaciously demanded by Megean, besides another three hundred 
thousand ducats for the expenses of the war. Citizens of the 
Directory,'' he concluded, " citizen ministers and generals, the 
deaths of some few individuals, considerable loss in property, and 
many acts of political necessity, which weak minds call injustice, 
will accompany or be the consequence of my scheme, but the 
Republic w^ill conquer ; whereas, should the Republic fall, all will 
alike suffer from a series of acts of injustice, and from the losses 
and numberless deaths which must ensue."' 

This speech shocked his humane audience; to abandon the city, 
families, and citizens to the violence and rapine of the Bourbonists, 
purposely to excite crimes in order afterwards to punish them, 
and without regard to law or justice to exact money by torture 
from innocent persons, were crimes of such enormity, that they 
were as revolting to the feelings as to the upright judgment of the 
men who now ruled the State, and pointed to a line of conduct 
opposed to all their previous professions. They were therefore 
unanimous in supporting the motion of the minister Manthon^, 
who, inexperienced in revolutions, and measuring the courage of 
his party by his own generous and noble spirit, declared that ten 
republicans were able to cope with a thousand of the enemy, and 
that they did not want the assistance of the French, since Schi- 
pani could be opposed to Sciarpa, Bassetti to Mammone and 
Fra Diavolo, Spano to De Cesare, and he himself to RufFo ; while 



I 



352 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OP NAPLES. 1799. 

General Wirtz could remain in the city, witli part of the regular 
troops, the whole of the militia, and the Calabrese legion might be 
held in reserve. It was therefore resolved that Spano and Schipani 
should start the following day. 

Schipani reached La Cava, and encamped there, while Spano, 
after having been routed in the woods and defiles of Monteforte 
and Cardinale, returned to the city with diminished numbers 
and in disordered flight, a sight and example fatal to the cause. 
A few days later Schipani was attacked on the flanks of his little 
army, which was feebly supported, and being without a rear- 
guard, and having no hope of succour, he encamped on the bank 
of the Sarno. General Bassetti, who about that time left the city, 
kept the road clear of enemies as far as Capua. Along with the 
troops of General Manthone in Naples, were others raised irregu- 
larly by conscription, all of whom looked forward to the arrival of 
the legion of cavalry which General Roccaromana was levying in 
the name, and at the expense of the Republic. But these hopes 
vanished and were converted into bitter disappointment, when tlie 
duke, perceiving the approaching fall of the Republic, offered him- 
self with his troops to Cardinal Ruffo, and fought on the side of the 
Bourbonists until the termination of the war. 

The city was in a deplorable condition ; provisions were scarce, 
the treasury empty, and even the wounded were without necessary 
assistance. But two ladies, formerly known as the Duchesses of 
Cassano and Popoli, but now bearing the more honourable title of 
mothers of their country, went from houseto house collecting clothes, 
food, and money for the soldiers and the poor languishing in the 
hospitals; their words and example had the desired effect, they were 
joined by other benevolent ladies, and the destitution was relieved. 
But the State was declining. Cardinal Ruffo took up his quarters 
at Nola, and his myrmidons were encamped as far as Sebeto, while 
the followers of Fra Diavolo and Sciarpa made their appearance at 
Capodichina. It was impossible to count them, for, composed of vag- 
rants and volunteers, they passed from one troop to another, roaming 
over the country in a disorderly manner. The numbers besieging 
the city appeared not less than forty thousand. Schipani was 
attacked and conquered on the Sarno, and proceeded to Granatello, 
a little fort near Portici. Bassetti returned defeated and wounded 



ITJ9. THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. :^53 

to Naples ; Manthonb, with tlirce thousand soldiers, liad hardly 
reached Barra, when, after a short conflict, overcome by superior 
numbers who fired at him from the roofs of the houses, he had to 
retreat with the loss of many of his men. The people were begin- 
ning to mutiny within the city, when messengers from Castella- 
mare brought news that the arsenal had been treacherously set on 
fire, but it was afterwards proved that although the crime had 
been attempted, the flames had instantly been extinguished by the 
zeal of the guards, assisted by the wind, which blew from a favour- 
able quarter. During the night seditious cries were heard in 
the city, and alarming reports were circulated of preparations for 
massacre and destruction. 

The Government issued a proclamation, ordering that at the first 
discharge of cannon from Castel-Nuovo, the soldiers were to retire 
to their quarters, the militia to hasten to their posts, the patriotic 
leaders to enter the castles, and the citizens their houses ; that at 
the second discharge, numerous patrols were to go the rounds of 
the city, to enforce obedience to these orders, and, at the third, 
the patrols were to fire at the contumacious ; their having being 
met with in the street was to furnish sufficient proof of their guilt, 
and the safety of the Republic was considered reason enough to jus- 
tify the act. Three more discharges from the cannon were to follow, 
but instead of being fired at long intervals as the first, they were 
to succeed one another rapidly as an announcement that all were 
at liberty to return to their several employments. The next day 
these orders were executed, and the effect answered the expecta- 
tion of the Government. The alarm was great, the streets were de- 
serted ; while gloom spread over the face of the city, which looked 
like a vast empty tomb. 

That same day, the 11th June, an attack was made by Russian 
and Sicilian troops of the line, on the fort of Granatello, which was 
guarded by Schipani's soldiers ; who were little less than a thousand 
men, supported by gunboats, the fire from which was directed by 
Admiral Caracciolo with surprising boldness and skill. Though the 
general was wounded, and his numbers diminished, he yet main- 
tained his position, and the hostile army encamped before the fort. 
Matters remained thus during the night, in which both parties were 
preparing for attack and defence. General Schipani having deter- 

VOL. I. 2 G 



■ 



.354 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799 

mined to retire within the city, sent at daybreak a numerous 
detachment of Dalmatians to the rear of the Bourbonists, who, if 
surprised and routed, he hoped would aiFord him an opportunity to 
leave his encampment, attack and drive them back as far as the 
parish of Portici, and secure for himself a safe retreat upon Naples, 
But suddenly the Dalmatians, either seized with a panic, or seduced 
by the enemy during the melee, deserted their standard, joined the 
Russians, and surrounded the little band of Republicans who had 
been thus betrayed ; many were killed or wounded on both sides, 
and the remainder of Schipani's troops taken prisoners. 

But the Cardinal was slowly advancing, in order by the sight of 
so wealthy a city, still further to excite the appetite for plunder 
in his troops, to whom he had promised license and pillage ; and 
also to await the feast-day of St. Anthony, which was near, as the 
miracles of the blood, which had been practised in favour of Cham- 
pionnet, Macdonald, and the Neapolitan Directory, had somewhat 
weakened the faith of the populace in St. Januarius, and the Car- 
dinal therefore found it necessary to appeal to their superstition 
through another saint. On the first dawn of the 1.3th June, an 
altar was raised in the camp, and mass was celebrated. After 
invoking St. Anthony, the patron saint of the day, all the hordes 
forming the army of the Holy Faith were ordered to advance 
against the city ; and the Cardinal himself, on horseback, decorated 
with his purple, and sword in hand, in the centre of the largest 
detachment of his troops, prepared to cross the little stream of the 
Sebeto, over the bridge of the Maddalena. The Republicans, per- 
ceiving his intention, advanced to the encounter ; three discharges 
of cannon from Castel-Nuovo having first given the signal to clear 
the streets of the city, as a precaution against internal foes. 

General Bassetti, with a handful of soldiers, hastened to the 
height of Capodichina, more as a menace to the right wing of the 
immense multitudes who were approaching through the fertile 
gardens of the Barra, than with any intention of attacking them. 
General Wirtz, with as many as he could collect, advanced to the 
bridge, planted a large battery of cannon there, and lined the right 
bank of the river with soldiers and artillery ; the castles of the 
city remained closed, with their bridges raised. The Legion Cala- 
bra, formed in two divisions, held the lesser coast batteries of 



iroo. THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 355 

V igHcna close to the Granili ; and parties patrolled the city to 
prevent plots within, and to be employed, if needed, as a last and 
desperate resource of falling liberty. The old invalided partisans 
of the Republic guarded the castles, the young and robust accom- 
panied the soldiers, or formed in irregular companies, fought as 
volunteers, or single-handed, wherever their zeal called them, or as 
they were thrown by chance. The Russians attacked Vigliena, 
but from the stout resistance they encountered, were obliged to re- 
treat, and batter the walls by a continuous discharge of cannon; this 
attempt having succeeded, the Russians, Turks, and Bourbonists 
rushed into the fort, and fought hand to hand ; but, impeded and 
pressed on by their owiji numbers, they suffered from the blows of 
friends as well as foes. Many of the Calabrese legionaries were 
slain, the rest who were wounded, appeared indifferent to life ; 
among them was the priest Toscani of Cosenza, the head of the 
garrison, who dragging himself along with difficulty, as he had been 
stabbed in several places, approached the powder magazine, and 
invoking God and liberty, set fire to the powder, which instantane- 
ously blew up with a terrible explosion and noise, and as many as 
were within the walls perished, buried under the ruins, or thrown 
into the air, or struck by falling stones, foes and friends thus hor- 
ribly mingled in one common death. The Cardinal quailed before 
this proof of desperate courage, while it emboldened the republi- 
cans, who swore to imitate so great an example. 

Under such auspices Wirtz reached the bridge, Bassetti the hill, 
and Admiral Caracciolo came out of the port with armed launches : 
the Cardinal advanced with his followers, and the fight recom- 
mencing, many fell on both sides ; the victory appeared doubtful, 
immense numbers crowding one bank, while the other was defended 
by indefatigable courage and greater skill. Among the volunteers 
and irregular troops, was the advocate Luigi Serio, a learned and 
eloquent man, who had once (as I have mentioned in a preceding 
book) been the guide and friend of the Emperor Joseph ii. ; but 
opposed to the Bourbon king after his tyrannical conduct, was 
now resolved rather to die than submit to servitude. He had 
three nephews residing with him, timid and effeminate youths, to 
whom he said, when they heard the firing of the troops in retreat, 
*' Let us go out and fight the enemy :" they reminded him of his 



I 



356 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

age, that he was nearly blind, that they were all unaccustomed to 
fight, besides being unprovided with arms, and they entreated him 
not to expose himself and his family, to certain and useless destruc- 
tion ; but their uncle replied : " The minister of war has sent me 
four muskets, and two hundred charges of powder. It will be easy 
to take aim, when close to the enemy ; do you follow me ; if we 
do not fear death, we shall at least taste the sweets of vengeance 
before we die." They all obeyed, and the old man prevented by 
his dauntless nature and his misfortune from perceiving the dan- 
ger, advanced against the enemy, using both his weapon and his 
voice ; he fell upon the banks of the Sebeto, leaving a name 
which he had rendered honourable in life by the effusions of his 
muse, and in his death by his blood. Sufficient search was not 
made for his body, which was never found, and therefore remained 
without a tomb. 

The day was declining, but victory on the bank of the little stream 
was yet undecided, when General Wirtz was struck to the ground by 
a shell, leaving his men without a leader, an incident which damped 
the courage of the whole army. On seeing him carried off the 
field, mortally wounded, the troops first wavered then, seized with 
panic, fled in confusion into the city. The Bourbonists followed, 
joined by the Lazzaroni, who, regardless of the prohibitions of an 
expiring authority, left their houses, and attacked the troops of 
Bassetti ; but Bassetti learning the death of Wirtz, the loss of the 
bridge, and that the army had fled, opened a way for himself 
amidst the pressure of the people, and retired into Castel-Nuovo. 
Hither the five composing the Directory, the ministers, and several 
of the legislative senate had repaired, and were carrying on the 
government, while the rest of the officials or partisans of the Re- 
public had dispersed wherever they thought themselves safest, to 
the castles, to the houses, or to places of concealment ; while some 
remained in the streets, formed into armed bands. Many who 
sought refuge in Sant'Elmo were harshly repulsed by Meghan, and 
ranged themselves beneath the walls, or in the large monastery of 
San Martino. Caracciolo continued the fight from the sea during 
many nights until the enemy retreated from the shore, when he 
returned into port. Whilst the battle was still raging, the two 
brothers Baker, and three other prisoners, who had already been 



1799. THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 357 

coiulemned by the revolutionary tribunals, were privately shot under 
an arcade of the staircase of Castel-Nuovo ; this execution was 
an act of cruelty, as the last hour of the government had struck, 
and as it was neither required for the purpose of security nor 
for example. Fortunately there was no time to prosecute the 
trials of the other conspirators who had joined Baker. In the city, 
meantime, unprotected as it vvas by walls or fortifications, the 
republicans fled, and being already full of their enemies, cries of 
long live the king resounded ; the soldiers, however, and as many 
of the army of the Holy Faith as could be restrained, were not 
permitted to enter, and were detained by the Cardinal, not from 
any feeling of compassion toward his native place, but lest the 
darkness should favour plots which they supposed possible the 
enemy might have prepared against them. Joyful shouts and 
illuminations, intended to flatter the rising power, and prudent 
rather than sincere, celebrated the king's restoration ; but mean- 
time a discharge of cannon from the castles, and a desperate sally 
of the republicans, interrupted the festivities, and many who were 
participating in them were slain. The night of the 13th June 
1799 was dark indeed for both parties. 

On the following morning, the fort of the Carmine was attacked 
and taken by the Russians ; both the republicans and their soldiers 
were killed, and, as the Bourbon standard was hoisted on the 
tower, the guns of the fort were now turned against Castel-Nuovo 
and the trenches of the mole, while, at the same time, volleys were 
fired as a sign of triumph. The Cardinal took up his quarters at 
Granili, and encamped the troops of the line belonging to the 
Holy Faith on an elevation commanding the city, and the multi- 
tude claimed the promised spoil of Naples ; but I shall postpone 
to another chapter the description of the pillage, atrocities, and 
murders which followed. On their side, the republicans laboured 
that first day to fortify those fronts of Castel-Nuovo which were 
exposed to attack, and to barricade some of the streets of the city, 
and thus formed a little republic among themselves, composed of the 
castles Nuovo, dell' Uovo, and Sant' Elmo, the palace, the stronghold 
of Pizzofalcone, and the last inhabited end of the Chiaja. The 
batteries continued to play during the subsequent days ; but some 
of the republican party deserting to the king, the commander of 



I 



S58 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

tlie castle of Baia invited the Sicilians to take possession of it, and 
two officers who had escaped from Castel-Nuovo, were seen assisting 
to throw up trenches against the very fort they had sworn to defend. 
Delinquents of this class were, however, few and obscure, and I 
refrain from mentioning their names, because they were more their 
own enemies than the Republic's, and because amidst the changes 
of government w^hich have since occurred, great and successful 
treason has so entirely thrown lesser offences into the shade. Faith, 
oaths, the duties of the citizen, are now used as a game of skill, 
and encouraged as such by despots who turn to their advantage 
all the perfidy produced by a corrupt state of society •, and thus, 
were we to examine the growth of political vice or political virtue 
since 1799 to this day, the result would prove disgraceful to the 
Neapolitan people, so rapidly have public morals degenerated from 
month to month. 

The little fort of Castellamare, though attacked by batteries on 
land, and by Sicilian and English ships from the sea, refused to 
yield, until conditions were granted, by which the garrison were 
permitted to go free to France, carrying with them as much of 
their moveable property as they pleased, and leaving their posses- 
sions and families within the kingdom secure from molestation. 
The English Vice- Admiral Foote signed this treaty for the king, 
upon which the garrison were conveyed, in ships which were in 
readiness, to Marseilles. Serious risks \vere incurred during the 
siege of the city, by the blunders of the Bourbonists as well as of 
their enemies, for one of the red-hot balls fired from the castle of 
the Carmine against Castel-Nuovo, fell on a small chamber in the 
curtain, and ignited some w^ood, which being dry, and covered with 
oil, burnt rapidly. This occurred close to the bastion of the shore, in 
the middle of which was a magazine full of powder and rockets. 
As long as the flames ascended directly upwards, the fire could 
not be communicated below by sparks or heat, but such was the 
alarm and excitement, that the garrison threatened to force open 
the gates of the castle and escape, and all wdio tried to soothe their 
excited imaginations were either supposed to be indifferent to their 
own lives, or so inhuman as to be willing to sacrifice those of their 
men. Tlie act of Toscana at Vigliena, which up to that time had been 
cited as an example of heroism, was now talked of as an instance of 



1799. THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 359 

savage ferocity. All therefore, whether ready to hear reason or the 
reverse, put their hand to the work, eager to prevent the fire reaching 
the powder magazine ; and although at some distance from the well, 
they contrived, by a chain of men to keep up a continuous jet of 
water, until the flames were extinguished. But in the midst of the 
confusion, the enemy seeing the smoke from the castle, and observ- 
ing the fire from the cannon slackened, approached by tlie Via del 
Porto, and throwing grenades at the gate of the rocks set it on 
fire ; having effected an opening into the castle, they would have 
entered had tlieir courage or skill been greater ; but the besieged 
hastened to remedy the disaster and barricaded the ingress. 

That night the repubjicans resolved to take advantage of the 
darkness, to make a sally from the castles of the Uovo and Nuovo by 
San Martino, and destroy the battery of cannon raised on the Chiaja. 
The French no longer afforded them assistance, for Megean had 
already begun to negotiate with the Cardinal for the price of his 
[treachery, and the republicans, suspecting his conduct, concealed 
!from him their intended movements and hopes. As midnight 
struck (the hour fixed for the sally) they started in three divisions, 
and unsparingly put to death all the soldiers of the Holy Faith 
they fell in with ; for had they made any prisoners they would 
*have endangered their secret, and risked the lives of their little 
I band. They proceeded with so much caution, that they were mis- 
taken by their own watches for the enemy, and attacked by them ; 
but the mistake was soon discovered, and all joined in lamenting 
the loss of one of their comrades, swearing to revenge his death 
upon the enemy. Continuing on their way, they surprised and 
killed those set to guard the battery, and after spiking their can- 
non and burning the carriages, returned uninjured to the fortress 
planning other sallies, and resolved only to die sword in hand. The 
noise of their feet, and the cries and shouts announcing the 
slaughter of the Bourbonists, reached the Russian camp, the camps 
of the Holy Faith, and the quarters of the Cardinal ; uncertain 
whence the sound proceeded, they beat to arms, and kept the troops 
prepared until daybreak, when the pusillanimous Cardinal pro- 
posed to withdraw them to a distance of several miles. 

He w^as troubled by reflections of a still more serious nature. 
No one else was aware that the French and Spanish fleet were 



360 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 179ii 

upon the Mediterranean sea ; and altliougli their enemy had stil 
larger fleets cruising there, it was doubtful whether they woulc 
fall in with one another, and if thej met who would be the victor 
Many of the cities still sighed after the Republic, and even severa" 
of tlie royalist cities had been irritated by the cruelties perpetratec 
by the followers of the Holy Faith. The promise of rewards liac 
not yet been all fulfilled, and the myrmidons of the Cardinal were fast 
diminisliing in numbers, for many now satiated with plunder were 
desirous of enjoying their lives in idleness and security. He had 
besides a brave and desperate foe facing him, and the Cardinal feared 
for his own personal safety and that of his hostages (one of whom 
was his own brother) detained in Castel-Nuovo. In the anxious 
watches of that night he decided to send envoys to the Directory 
to treat for peace, and when dayliglit returned, after making a more 
exact computation of those killed, and the loss occasioned by the 
late sally, with the flight and the panic in his camp, he listened to 
the advice of the leaders of the troops and the royalist magistrates, 
who were all inclined for peace ; he therefore sent a message to 
Megean with proposals for an accommodation, on such terms as 
might be expected under the circumstances, befitting the royal 
dignity, and a conquered people. The envoys of Rufib, accom- 
panied by a messenger from Megean, referred the proposals to the 
Republican Directory. 

There the uneasiness was still greater, and with more reason, 
but the ofl'er of peace allayed their fears ; some attributing it to 
desertions or mutiny in the camps of the Holy Faith, others to 
the French victories in Italy, and the greater number to the ap- 
proach of the conquering fleet of France and Spain. The Direc- 
tory accordingly replied, that it was contrary to the rules of a free 
government to consent to, or reject propositions without a previous 
consultation, and that they would therefore take the matter into 
consideration. Meantime an armistice of three days was granted 
at the request of Megean's deputy ; but before the departure of the 
envoys, the minister Manthone informed the Bourbonists, that if 
the Cardinal could not keep his followers under restraint during 
the truce, he would put a stop to their cruelty, rapine, and the 
iniquitous proposal of sacking the city, by attacking them from the 
fort. Left to themselves, the Directory consulted how to act, and 



iroa. THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 361 

beginning to doubt the supposed weakness of the enemy, inclined 
to accept terms ; Manthone alone among them all, advocated ex- 
treme though generous measures, more consonant with his own 
fearless nature than suited to the actual condition of the Re- 
public. Oronzo Massa, a general of artillery, was summoned to at- 
tend the council, and being asked his opinion as to the state of the 
castle, he answered honestly, " We only continue masters of these 
walls because our enemies are composed of raw soldiers, and an 
undisciplined mob, with a priest at their head. The sea, the port, 
the docks are in the hands of the enemy ; the gate near the port 
has been burnt, and the entrance there impossible to prevent ; the 
palace cannot be defended b}^ artillery ; the curtain on the side 
of the enemy is in ruins ; in short, if matters were reversed, and I 
were ordered to attack the castle, I could take it in two hours." 
The president then asked him, if he would accept peace ? to which 
he replied, " I would accept it, on conditions honourable to the 
Government, and which would guarantee the security of the State." 
The time allowed for the truce was drawing near its close, and 
the French and Spanish fleet was not yet in sight ; the republican 
forces were diminishing by desertions, and the resolution of the 
Government wavered. On the second night the battery on the 
Chiaja which had been destroyed, was reconstmcted, and a new 
one erected on the Via del Porto ; but upon complaints and 
menaces from the Directory the works were suspended, and the 
Cardinal assured them, that should the hoped-for peace not be 
concluded the following day, he would give orders for the demo- 
lition of the embankments recently thrown up, which were not by 
his command, but were to be attributed to the zeal of his soldiers. 
The republicans met again in council, and examined the grounds 
of their hope to prolong the siege until the arrival of foreign aid, to 
conquer in the open field, or to force a way through the enemy and 
join the French in Capua ; finding all these propositions unten- 
able, perceiving death near, and victory impossible, and anxious 
to preserve their own lives and those of thousands more, for a 
time more propitious for the Republic, they drew up conditions 
of peace, and selected for their negotiator General Massa, who had 
advocated pacific views in the Congress. Oronzo Massa was of a 
noble family, and had in his youth entered the army as an artillery 

VOL. T. 2 H 



362 HISTOEY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

officer, but had retired from the service in the year 1795, when 
the Government became tyrannical ; he had since oifered himself 
as a soldier under the Republic, and had been promoted to the 
rank of general. lie was eloquent, magnanimous, and brave. It 
was with some unwillingness he accepted the charge now imposed 
on him, and happening to meet me in the courtyard of the fort as 
he was leaving the house occupied by the Directory, and informing 
me on what mission he was sent, he added, '' The conditions pro- 
posed by the Directory are moderate, but the enemy, proud of the 
ease with w^hich he has been able to obtain them, will not concede 
life or liberty to the chiefs of the Republic ; I am convinced that 
at least tw^enty of the citizens will be required to sacrifice them- 
selves for the safety of the rest, but it wall be an honour to the 
Directory, and to their representative, if we sign a treaty by whicli 
we shall preserve many lives at the price of our own.'' 

The negotiators met in the house occupied by the Cardinal, and 
as the Directory refused to trust King Ferdinand and his Lieu- 
tenant alone, it became necessary to add the leaders of the 
Muscovite and Turkish forces, the admiral of the English fleet, 
and the French Commander Megean. The demands of the re- 
publicans appeared too bold to the Cardinal, but the pride of the 
jDurple gave w^ay before the arguments of General Massa, who spoke 
confidently though without insolence, while declaring his resolu- 
tion, " to treat the hostages according to ancient usage, demolish 
and burn the houses in the city, and repeat the heroic act 
committed at Yigliena in every castle and building.'' The Car- 
dinal, whispering to those around him that he would incur the 
reproaches of the king if his Majesty should find the city of Naples 
in ruins, proposed to Massa to efface from tlie treaty all sugges- 
tions or words derogatory to the royal dignity, in which case he 
would condescend to acquiesce in the terms ofiered. General 
Massa insisting everything should continue in the present form, 
peace was finally concluded on the following conditions : — 

1. The castles Nuovo and DelF Uovo, with their arms and am- 
munition, shall be delivered to the commissaries of liis Majesty the 
King of the Two Sicilies, and of his allies, England, Russia, and 
the Ottoman Porte. 

2. The republican garrisons in both castles shall march out 



THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC. 363 

with the honours of war, and shall bo respected and guaranteed 
in their persons and property, moveable and immoveable. 

n They may choose whether to embark upon neutral vessels 
lor Toulon, or to remain in the kingdom, secure from all molesta- 
tion for themselves or their families. The representatives of the 
king shall provide the means of transport. 

4. These conditions and these terms shall include the persons of 
both sexes in the fortress, and the republican prisoners captured 
by the royalist or allied troops in the course of the war, as well as 
all in the camp at San Martino. 

5. The republican garrisons shall not quit the castles until the 
vessels by which they cKoose to depart are ready to sail. 

6. The archbishop of Salerno, Count Micheroux, Count Dillon, 
and the Bishop of Avellino, shall remain as hostages in the fort of 

-Sant' Elmo until certain tidings shall reach Naples of the arrival 
of the vessels at Toulon which shall have conveyed the republican 
.garrisons. The royalist prisoners and the hostages at present 
detained in the fort shall be set at liberty after the signature of 
'the present capitulation. 

The names of RufFo and Micheroux for the King of Naples, of 

iFoote for England, of Baillie for Russia, and of ^ for the 

Porte followed, as well as those of Massa and Megean on the part 
of the Republic. 

During the succeeding days the ships were made ready. Ettore 
OaraiFa, Count di Ruvo, was invited by a letter from the Cardinal 
:o yield the fortresses of Civitella and Pescara on the same condi- 
:ions as those accepted for the castles of Naples ; and in an edict 
issued in his capacity of regent for the king, RufFo proclaimed the 
war at an end, that factions or parties had ceased to exist, and 
:hat all the citizens alike were the subjects of the same prince, and 
Tiends and brothers ; that the king was ready to pardon the crime 
)f rebellion, and even in his paternal goodness to bid his enemies 
.velcome ; and further, ordering that persecutions, robberies, fight- 
ng, slaughter, and armaments were to cease within the kingdom. 
[n spite of this proclamation, however, many who disliked or sus- 
)ected the sincerity of the Bourbon government, asked and obtained 

* The name is wanting in the original Russia, and Bon ieu for the Porte. (Note by 
iocunient. Carlo Botta gives Keraady for the Editorof the Italian edition of Colletta.) 



364 HISTOEY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. m9. 

permission to embark likewise on board the ships which were now 
ready to sail. Of those who had belonged to the camp of San 
Martino not many remained in the city, the rest went to France, 
and the two garrisons, marching out of the castles with the stipu- 
lated honours, were divided between the few who preferred remain- 
ing and those who determined to depart. They now only waited 
for the wind, which it was hoped would in the course of the night 
prove propitious. 

As day broke the sea was seen studded with white sails, and it 
was supposed that the French and Spanish fleet had arrived. The 
republicans who had already embarked broke forth in general 
lamentation and mutual reproaches, while the reputation of Man- 
ihonh rose, who had all along blamed the surrender of the castles, 
and had declared, however low their fortunes might be sunk, that 
it was an act of cowardice to yield themselves slaves to the enemy, 
and thus almost resign the liberty to die. But these ships proved 
to be the fleet of Nelson, which had arrived in the bay before sun- 
rise. A wind had sprung up in the night favourable for France, 
but though the vessels were ready they did not set sail: on the 
follovving morning it w^as perceived that their position in the port 
was changed, and that they were steered beneath the cannon of the 
Castel deir Uovo, their sails taken down, and their anchors drop- 
ped ; guards were next placed over the passengers, and the ships 
converted into prisons ; those who had just embarked were lost in 
wonder and alarm, and demanded an explanation from Admiral 
Nelson ; but the conqueror of Aboukir was not ashamed to break 
the terms of the capitulation, while publishing an edict of King 
Ferdinand to the eff'ect, that " kings do not treat with subjects ; 
that the acts of the royal lieutenant had been an abuse of his 
powers, and were therefore null and void, and that it was the in- 
tention of Ferdinand to exercise his full and royal authority in 
dealing with the rebels.'' After this proclamation, royal commis- 
saries went on board the ships to remove those who were marked 
as victims (eighty-four in number), and chaining them two and 
two, led them in broad day-light through the most populous 
parts of the city (a mournful and disgraceful spectacle), to the 
prisons of those very castles which they had just before garrisoned, 
and which were now occupied by the English. The rest of those who 



\790. THE PARTHENOPEAN REPUBLIC, 365 

had embarked, and who happened from the obscurity of their names 
and deeds, to escape exciting tlie desire of vengeance in the haughty 
conquerors, or because this desire was satisfied by their exile, con- 
tinued their voyage to Marseilles. The Count di Ruvo, who had 
yielded the fortresses of Pescara and Civitella, and who, with 
several belonging to these garrisons, had arrived in Naples, with 
the intention of embarking, according to the conditions of sur- 
render, was seized and barbarously conveyed to the dungeons. 
After these examples of inhumanity and injustice, the Bourbonists, 
tlie Lazzaroni, and the followers of the Holy Faith, already 
impatient for plunder, and indignant at the Cardinal's treaties and 
edicts of peace, were let loose, and returned to their former deeds 
of atrocity, which had only been suspended ; while Ruffo, afraid of 
these ruffians, and of incurring the anger of the king, either sup- 
ported them or remained passive. 

Sant' Elmo, Capua, and Gaeta, surrendered one after the other 
I on pretence of siege. The leader of the French legion, Meghan, 
commanding in Sant' Elmo, had some days previous bargained for 
the surrender of the castle, and a story is told, which has not been 
contradicted, that the niggardly offers of Ruffo not satisfying his 
rapacity, he turned for better terms to the English, but, rejected 
;by them, he concluded with the first, and agreed — 

To surrender the castle to his Sicilian Majesty and his allies ; 
that the garrison should yield themselves prisoners, but be permit- 
ted to return to France on condition not to serve until the exchange 
of prisoners ; that they were to leave the fort with the honours 
of war; and that the Neapolitan subjects were to be consigned to 
the allies, and not to the representatives of the king. 

The following day the castle was yielded, and the garrison 
marched out, when the commissaries of the Bourbon police were 
permitted to inspect the French lines and select all who were 
Neapolitan subjects, whom they threw into chains, Megoan himself 
pointing out any who happened to escape the vigilance of these 
miscreants. Matera and Belpulsi, who, although natives of Sicily, 
were French officers, and wearing the uniform of France, were 
handed over to the police of Naples. The representatives of 
foreign potentates who were present, did not interfere, though the 
terras of the surrender by 'which these unfortunate men were placed 



366 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

under the protection of the allies were thus broken. The affair 
was disgraceful to all concerned in it. 

The fortresses of Capua and Gaeta soon afterwards surrendered 
on the same conditions as those granted at Sant' Elmo, but without 
a repetition of the infamous transaction just related, as either 
there were none of the ill-fated subjects of the King of the Two 
Sicilies among the French in these fortresses, or they were con- 
cealed. The French embarked, and the Bourbon standard now 
floated from all the castles. Cardinal Ruffo, as lieutenant of the 
king, governed the kingdom, and was obeyed by the cities, towns, 
and magistrates. Nothing remained of the Republic, but the 
memory of what it had been, to increase the sufferings of the 
friends of liberty, and the terror inspired by their tyrant. 



BOOK V. 



REIGN OF FERDINAND IV. 

1799-1806. 
CHAPTER I. 

KING FERDINAND OF BOURBON RESUMES THE THRONE. 



I The Republic was now fallen and the war of armies at an end, 
t a more barbarous and licentious war was carried on within the 
city. The conquerors eagerly pursued the conquered, and all who 
were not soldiers of the Holy Faith, or who did not belong to the 
low populace, wherever met, were murdered. The respectable 
citizens fled or concealed themselves ; brawls produced by revenge 
or the thirst for gain, cries and lamentations were heard in the 
streets, which were either wholly deserted or filled with a turbulent 
rabble ; the tribunals were closed, and the city was sunk in gloom 
and consternation, as if just taken by storm. After the fiercer 
passions had been satiated with blood, the pillage began, and on 
pretence that Jacobins lay concealed within the houses, the mob 
refused to quit any closed door ; but hardly was it opened to them, 
than they sacked the place. Lazzaroni, servants, enemies, or 
treacherous friends, pointed out to the people those liouses which, 
they said, belonged to rebels, and immediately there followed a 
scene of violence, robbery, or murder, as chance directed. Drag- 
ging their prisoners naked and bound through the streets, they 
stabbed them with their weapons, and insulted them by cowardly 
blows, and by throwing mire in their faces ; persons of every age, 
and of both sexes, venerable magistrates, and noble-minded women 
who had lately been called the mothers of their country, were thus 
tortured ; all the perils of the war, the insolence of the royalist 
gangs, the last hours of despair for the Republic, with the terror 



368 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

suffered during the past days, appeared tolerable, compared with 
the present calamities. Cardinal RufFo and other chiefs of the 
army of the Holy Faith, and even those who had influence with the 
populace, although they had been able to kindle their fury, had no 
power to enforce moderation after victory. 

If, while describing these terrible disasters in Naples, I may be 
detected using the words or expressions of Cornelius Tacitus, as lie 
represented the state and aspect of Rome after the murder of 
Vitellius, I confess that I have purposely invited this comparison ; 
because it is a proof that however times or places or political con- 
stitutions may differ, the nature of the populace never varies ; but, 
when unchained, it is ever an indomitable monster : and because 
I am desirous to remind my reader of the criminal conduct of all 
persons who remove the restraints of law and fear. More criminal 
than any were Cardinal Ruffo, and the English admiral. Lord Nelson. 
When the hero of Aboukir arrived from Egypt, he was captivated 
by the charms of Lady Hamilton. Her name was originally Emma 
Lyon, the daughter of a poor woman, and her father unknown, 
while slie herself was in so low a condition of life, that whether 
born in Wales or England, is uncertain. She grew up extremely 
beautiful, but without friends, poor, and a vagrant ; her morals had 
been corrupted before she attained her sixteenth year, when her 
beauty attracted the notice of several artists, and Romney the 
painter represented her in various mythological and historical 
characters. Charles Greville, of the noble family of Warwick, fas- 
cinated with the beauty of the woman under these celestial or 
fabulous characters, fell in love with her; and when sunk from a 
high position and fortune, sent Emma to his uncle. Sir William 
Hamilton in Naples, to ask for assistance in money, and for his 
leave to marry her : the uncle paid his nephew's debts, but refused 
his last request ; and, in 179 1 , married her himself under the name of 
Miss Harte ; when Emma Lyon, now the ambassadress, forgetting her 
origin and early career, assumed a new deportment, and sustained her 
present position, as if she bad been accustomed to it from her birth. 

When Lord Nelson became madly fascinated by her charms, the 
artful Queen of Naples (who until then had treated Lady Hamilton 
with the disdain of a queen towards an adventuress) changed her 
haughty tone, and seeing the use she might make of her at some 



i:i»0. FERDINAND IT. 369 

future time, attached her to herself by the strong fetters of vanity ; 
in the palace, in the tlieatre, and in public promenades, Emma was 
always beside the queen ; and often in the privacy of the palace, 
they dined and slept together. At the flight of the Bourbons from 
Naples, Lady Hamilton embarked on the same ship, and watched 
with anxious solicitude over the little Prince Albert who was ill, 
and who breathed his last in her arms. Their flight, their misfor- 
tunes, and a common asylum in Sicily, increased the attachment 
between these two women. 

When Queen Caroline read in Palermo of the capitulation of the 
castles, and saw lier hopes of vengeance vanishing, she entreated 
Emma, not as a queen', but as a friend, to go in pursuit of the 
admiral, who was sailing towards Naples: to be the bearer of 
letters to him from herself and the king, and to persuade him to 
revoke the infamous treaty, which was an insult to all the princes 
of the earth, by making them stoop before rebellious subjects. 
After inspiring her with her own feelings, she added : " To you, 
my lady, we shall owe the dignity of the crown ; use all despatch, 
and may the winds and fortune befriend you :'' she then dismissed 
her with embraces. Lady Hamilton set sail in a corvette, and 
reached Nelson just as he was entering the Bay of Naples. The 
royal letters contained entreaties, as well as arguments proving 
the offence which had been offered the dignity of thrones ; and 
expressed the happiness of the king and queen, that the fate of 
the monarchy now lay in the admiral's hands : after which the 
queen added, " I have time for no more ; Lady Hamilton, our 
deputy and friend, will explain our wishes, and convey to you the 
thanks sent by your Caroline.'' Li this letter was enclosed a 
decree of the king, which ran thus : — 

" We do not capitulate with rebellious subjects ; therefore the 
terms of the capitulation of the castles are annulled ; all the ad- 
herents of the so-called Republic are, though in different degrees, 
guilty of high treason. They are to be tried by a Junta of State, 
who are to punish the principal offenders with death, the lesser 
with imprisonment or exile, and all with confiscation. The king 
reserves the full explanation of his intentions, as well as the man- 
ner in which they are to be executed, to another decree.'' 

The fatal beauty reached Nelson's vessel, who was delighted at 



I 



370 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 179.9. 

her unexpected visit ; but when she presented him with the papers, 
a sense of justice and good faith made him shrink with horror from 
the office imposed upon him, and which he refused to accept ; van- 
quished, however, by the allurements of Lady Hamilton, that man 
of untarnished honour, so distinguished in war, was not ashamed 
to yield himself a base instrument to perjury and tyranny. The 
ship which had brought Lady Hamilton returned, bearing the glad 
tidings to the queen, while Emma, the recompense of his shame, 
remained with Nelson ; ' they were together when he arrived in the 
port, and wdien, by publishing the king's decree, he accomplished 
that act of perfidy recorded in the preceding book. 

The murder and pillage within the city meantime continued and 
even increased. In order to justify these deeds, a report was cir- 
culated that the republican party had determined to put thirty 
thousand of the populace to death, and had for this end prepared 
snares in which they were to be strangled : ruffians accordingly 
went from house to house pretending to seek for the instruments 
of a massacre, in the reality of which they did not believe ; but 
wherever by evil chance they found a hempen cord or rope, they 
rifled and burned the house, and murdered the inhabitants. As it 
was impossible for the dungeons and cells of the fortresses to con- 
tain all the prisoners, they were distributed among the vast and 
unhealthy chambers of the Granili, and in the Island of Procida, 
to be tried by the tribunals which had been established there for 
cases of high treason ; first of many, perished Generals Schipani 
and Spano, next Pasquale Battistessa, a gentleman, the father of 
a numerous family, and a sincere but moderate liberal. He was 
hung on the gallows, and when hanging by the rope was thought 
dead, but wdien they were in the act of burying him, was dis- 
covered to be still alive ; the hangman accordingly, by the orders 
of the wretch Speciale, cut his throat in the church, and he w^as 
then thrown into the grave. 

Admiral Caracciolo, betrayed by a servant, and arrested where 
lie lay concealed in a remote asylum, was demanded from Cardinal 
Ruff"© by Admiral Nelson ; it was supposed with the intention of 
saving a brave officer, who had so often been his comrade in the 
perils of war and by sea. Remembering the jealousy which the 
seamanship of Caracciolo had at times excited in Nelson, all 



1709. FERDINAND IV. 371 

])raisccl the magnanimity of tlie conqueror. But he, who was 
destined to more shame by liis ill fortune or blind passion, only 
desired to have his rival in his hands in order to satiate his ven- 
geance upon him ; and that very day he called a court-martial of 
Neapolitan officers in his own vessel, over whom he appointed 

ount Thurn to preside, as highest in rank. This court having 
lirst listened to the accusations, and then heard the accused, 
thought it just to grant his request, that the documents and proofs 

f his innocence should be examined ; but when Lord Nelson was 
informed of the fact, he wrote the words : " Further delays are 
unnecessary ;" upon which that subservient tribunal condemned 
the unhappy Caracci'olo to perpetual imprisonment ; but when 
Nelson learnt the sentence from the President Thurn, he replied 
" Death," and the word death was substituted for imprisonment. 
This iniquitous court-martial broke up at two in the afternoon, and 
that same hour, Francesco Caracciolo, a Neapolitan noble, the admiral 
of the fleet, an able officer, successful in war, distinguished for the 
honours he had gained, and deserving the gratitude of his country 
and his king by thirty-five years' service, a respected and simple- 
minded citizen, after having been betrayed by a servant, betrayed 
by his companion in arms, Lord Nelson, and betrayed by the 
officers, his judges, whom he had so often honoured in war, was 
bound in chains, conducted upon the Neapolitan frigate Minerva, 
a ship also renowned for the battles he had won in her, and hung 
at the yard-arm, thus ending his days like a common malefactor. 
The body was left exposed to the scorn of some and the pity of 
others until night, when, after having a weight suspended to the 
feet, it was thrown into the sea. 

The evil passions of the populace were increased to ferocity after 
witnessing tliis cruel example, and more deaths and destruction 
followed ; nothing was safe or sacred ; old age, childhood, the 
weakness of women, the sanctity of temples and altars could not 
aiford protection from men thirsting for blood and booty. The 
only hope lay in the arrival of the king, promised by his delegates, 
and at last, on the 30th June, the longed-for sails appeared, and 
spread joy throughout the city. As Ferdinand proposed remain- 
ing on board, the royal ship was soon surrounded by boats convey- 
ing those ambitious of notice, or eager for rewards or office ; but 




372 HISTORY OP THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 

amidst so many glad and delighted faces, were here and there seen 
an innocent but Unhappy family, coming to petition for the pardon 
of a prisoner condemned for treason. But the king soon grew wearied 
of this concourse of people, forbade the approach of any boat, and 
occupied himself with the re-organization of the State, taking as 
his advisers General Acton, whom he had brought with him from 
Sicily, and Admiral Nelson ; and guided by the suggestions sent 
him by the queen, and by the dictates of his own passions. 

The first decree related to his repudiation of the terms of capi- 
tulation ; the second to the appointment of a Junta to punish the 
rebels, reserving for future ordinances, the declaration what was 
to be considered treason, the mode of punishment, and form of 
trial. From the time of the surrender of the castles, a Junta of 
State had been instituted by Cardinal Ruffo, and had already, in 
a short time, condemned to death several of the republicans. But 
the ferocity of the king was increased by victory, and while con- 
firming the appointments of the judges, Antonio la Bossa, a man 
who was notorious for his dealings with the police, and Angelo 
Fiore, already mentioned among the followers of the Cardinal, he 
substituted several new judges for the old, men of the most malig- 
nant characters, among whom were Giuseppe Guidobaldi, already 
known in the Junta of 1796, who had fled the country, but 
had returned home with swarms of scrivani and spies ; and three 
Sicilian magistrates, Felice Damiani, Gaetano Sambuti, and Vin- 
cenzo Speciale, who had been appointed judges in the trials at 
Procida. A third decree pardoned the offences of the Lazzaroni 
in sacking the royal palace, and added, that it was expected 
the king's subjects would follow this example, and forget their own 
injuries during the spoil of the city. By another decree, seven 
very wealthy monasteries of the order of St. Benedict, and of the 
Carthusians were suppressed, and their property confiscated to the 
exchequer. These monks had not incurred the royal displeasure 
by taking any part in the revolution, but owed their fall to their 
great wealth and the rapacity of the king, who put no restraint 
upon his inclinations or actions. 

By a fifth and last decree of that day, the Sedili were annulled, 
and the ancient rights or privileges attached to these institutions 
abolished. In order to appreciate the importance of this measure, 



I7it:>. FERDINAND IV. 373 

1 will liero add a brief sketch of the origin and growth of these 
bodies. When Naples was a Greek city, it was usual for those in 
easy circumstances, the rich, nobles, and warriors, to meet for 
recreation under certain porches, afterwards called Seggi, Sedili 
(seats), or Piazze, and which were open to all ; but though there 
was no rule prohibiting any one entering them, the reserve of 
manners belonging to that age, differing widely from the presump- 
tion of the present, and there being no third estate, which caused 
an immense separation between the highest and the lowest, none 
of the populace aspired to admission. There were four, as many 
as there were quarters in the city, and afterwards six ; as the city 
increased in size, othei* and inferior Seggi arose, dependent on the 
first six ; so that they at length numbered twenty-nine ; but these 
were afterwards amalgamated, and reduced to five, called by the 
names of the districts to which they belonged ; the Capuan, Mon- 
tagna, Nido, Porto, and Portanuova. The other cities of Greek 
origin within the kingdom had likewise porches or Seggi ; but 
when political power and privileges were accorded to those of 
Naples alone, the remainder continued to retain theirs only as a 
title of nobility and honour ; Charles i. of Anjou granted leave to 
five Seggi to represent the capital together with the whole king- 
dom ; to elect among themselves the officers of the Neapolitan 
municipality, to administer the revenues of the city, to confer the 
right of citizenship on such strangers as were w^orthy of tlie honour. 

Bid to pronounce judgment in certain cases. Thus these social 
leetings for pleasure and idle amusement were converted into 
leetings of corporate bodies belonging to the State, who met with 
osed doors, and who had the power of adding dignity to wealth 
and rank. Noble families of a late creation, or old families wdiosc 
greatness had been forgotten, asked admission into one of the five 
Seggi, as a register and proof of their nobility. The people, jealous 
of the overweening power of the nobles, asked and obtained for 
themselves one Seggio called Del Popolo, wdiich had equal privi- 
leges, except in titles of nobility, with the other five. From that 
time forth, a Syndic and six Eletti, one for each Seggio, composed 
the municipality of Naples, with a council of twenty-nine, chosen 
from these same bodies, and commemorating by their number, the 
first twenty-nine Seggi of the city. 



S74 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

Ferdinand iv., therefore, by the decree of 1799, ignoring the 
oaths taken by the kings his predecessors, by his father and him- 
self, abolished the municipal corporation of the metropolis ; that 
body which represented the kingdom and the nobles, and by which 
the influence of old families had been sustained. From that time 
forward there was no political authority in the State, except that 
emanating from the throne ; all the subjects were reduced to a ser- 
vile condition, and the system of government simplified, by being 
placed under one despotic head. The pretext used for this act of 
violence was the right of conquest, — the king maintaining that he 
had reconquered his kingdom ; but this pretext also gave a title 
of legality to the French conquest, and conferred an equal right on 
the conqueror to organize the State into a Republic, making it the 
duty of the conquered to yield obedience, and therefore exonerating 
them from all blame : yet while thus proving the injustice and ille- 
gality of j^unishing an innocent people, the king himself, in the 
preamble to a law^ on treason, declared that he had never lost his 
kingdom, that although residing in Sicily, he had always been on 
the throne of Naples, and that he therefore considered every act of 
his subjects, if contrary to their duties towards him, treasonable, 
and if an attack against his royal authority, rebellious. As the two 
decrees bore tlie same date, he thus on the same day proclaimed 
himself a conqueror, yet conquered ; a fugitive, yet always i^resent; 
and a private individual, yet the possessor of the kingdom. 

The rules for the guidance of the Junta of State were drawn up 
in harmony with these principles, and all were declared guilty of 
liigh treason, who, armed against the people, had assisted the 
French to enter the city or the kingdom ; those who took the castle 
of Sant' Elmo out of the hands of the Lazzaroni, and those who had 
held secret communications with the enemy after the armistice of 
Lieutenant-Gcneral Pignatelli ; and the punishment of death was 
awarded to all who had first accepted the office of magistrates under 
the Republic, the members of the government, the delegates of the 
people, ministers, generals, judges of the high court of military 
commission, or judges of the revolutionary tribunal : the punish- 
ment of death w^as likewise awarded to those who had fought against 
the king's troops, led by Cardinal Ruffo, and those who had assisted 
at the elevation of the Tree of Liberty in the Piazza dello Spirito 



1-00. FERDINAND IV. 375 

Sauto, where the statue of Charles iii. had been demolished ; and 
who, in the square before the palace, had destroyed or been present 
at the destruction of the royal effigies, and of the Bourbonist and 
English standards ; and to w^hosoever had written or spoken words 
in disparagement of the sacred persons of the king, the queen, or 
the royal family, as well as all who had shown themselves disloyal 
in order to promote the Republic, or injure tlie monarchy. 

Forty thousand Neapolitans (taking the lowest computation) 
were thus threatened with death, and a still greater number with 
exile — a punishment reserved for all who had inscribed their names 
in clubs, the members of the municipal bodies, and those w^ho had 
enlisted in the army, bu't who had not been engaged in the war ; 
even the city guard, which had been raised by conscription, with- 
out their own consent, but who had been compelled to serve by 
the magistrates and the laws, were included among the guilty ; 

' the king declaring their imprisonment just, and his pardon neces- 
sary for their liberation. The Junta of State in the city, and the 

! royal commissaries, under the name of visitors in the provinces, 

*were ordered to punish the guilty, it being the intention of the king 
to purge the kingdom of the enemies of the throne and of the altar. 
The visitors were the Chevalier Ferrante, the Marquis Valva, the 
Bishop Lodovici, and the magistrates Crescenzo de Marco, Vincenzo 

Marrano, and Vincenzo lorio. Every visitor was given an assistant 
judge in the trials, and each separate tribunal was thus presided 
over by two judges, and pronounced on the life, liberty, and pro- 
perty of numbers. 

The scale of crimes and punishments was fixed by a decree, 
ailed in law Retroattiva (retrograde), because the acts were inno- 
cent until declared an offence ; and the magistrates having been 
•jelected at the king's pleasure, it only remained to prescribe the 
^orms of procedure ; as the existing codes did not provide such as 
vould secure sufficient secrecy and brevity, the ancient laws of the 
'ebellious barons of Sicily^ were adopted, which ran as follows: — 
m inquisitorial proces, to be instituted upon accusations or denun- 
•iations ; informers and spies to be considered valid as witnesses ; 
vitnesses to be iieard privately, and put to the torture, at the 
)leasure of the inquisitors ; the accused only to reply to the ques- 

^ liuws enacted at cUfforent periods against the rebellious barons of Sicily. 



376 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OP NAPLES. 1799. 

tions of the judge ; all his attempts at justification to be stopped, 
and torture to be applied if necessary ; no defence allowed ; a magis- 
trate appointed by the king to go through the forms rather than 
plead as advocate for the prisoner ; any wish expressed by the 
accused to be confronted with the witnesses ; his rejection of proofs, 
documents, or witnesses brought forward in his justification, with all 
guarantees of his innocence to be refused. Tlie decision to be left 
to the consciences of the judges ; the sentence to be brief without 
comments, without the delay of explanations, and at the discretion 
of the judges ; their sentence without appeal, to be composed, read, 
and executed the same day. Brief as were these forms, the king 
desired still further to accelerate the punishments ; he therefore 
instituted another Junta, composed of generals ; besides, as the 
occasion demanded, temporary tribunals in the cities, or in the 
provinces, and military commissions, which at beat of drum, and 
ad horas et ad modum belli, were to expedite the proces and con- 
demnation. 

Such were the harsh laws dictated by the king. On the third 
day after his arrival off Naples, he saw from afar a figure which 
the waves w^ere driving to-wards his vessel ; looking at it fixedly, 
he perceived it w^as a human corpse more than half out of the 
water, with the face raised, and the hair dishevelled and dripping, 
approaching him rapidly, and with a menacing aspect ; when he 
could see it better, the king recognised the miserable remains, and 
exclaimed, " Caracciolo I" Turning away in horror, he asked with 
confusion, " What does this dead man want V and amidst the 
general consternation and silence, the chaplain replied, " He would 
ask Christian burial." " Let him have it,'' answered the king, whc 
then retired to his apartment for solitary reflection. The corpse 
was picked up, and buried in the little church of Santa Maria la 
Catena, in Santa Lucia. On inquiring the reason for this extraor- 
dinary phenomenon, it w^as found that the body, swelled by the 
w^ater, could not be kept at the bottom even by fifty-two Englisl 
pounds' weight, w^eighed out by Captain Thomas Hardy, commandei 
of the vessel on which the king had embarked with Nelson, anc 
who himself w^as a witness of these facts, and related them to me 
It had risen in the water, and lifted half above the waves by it; 
equilibrium, a wind off shore had sent it out to sea. It seeme( 



17!)9. FERDINAND IV. 377 

as if intended by destiny to awaken terror and remorse in tlie 
king ; but though credulous and superstitious, he did not alter his 
ways. 

His tyrannical laws, and the atrocious acts which followed, roused 
once again the passions of the lower orders, and on the 8th July, 
in the square in front of the palace, they set fire to a pile, threw 
five living men into the flames, and after roasting them, devoured 
their flesh. The king was at that time in the harbour, and Acton 
with him ; there were two fleets in the bay, the Cardinal in the 
city, where the Russian troops were quartered, and the captains of 
the Holy Faith were parading the streets, or perhaps present at 
the scene. This enormity struck all with horror, and was the last 
act perpetrated by the populace ; but worse was in store, though 
under the guise of law. For just at that time, the list of pro- 
scriptions arrived from Palermo, which had been there compiled 
by the queen, after consulting old registers, and upon information 
received from spies employed during and since the Republic ; 
influenced also by her private hatred and that of her adviser, the 
Prince di Castelcicala ; the king accordingly ordered the tribunals 
to commence the trials. 

Thirty thousand Neapolitans were undergoing imprisonment in 
the cit}^ alone ; and as the old prisons were not sufliciently spacious 
to contain so many persons, the subterranean vaults of the castles, 
and other unhealthy cells were used for this cruel purpose ; to add 
to their suff'erings, they were denied the usual conveniences of 
life, a bed, chair, light, and eating or drinking utensils ; for the 
prisoners were reported to be desperate and fearless men, ready to 
resort to any extremity ; therefore all articles in iron, glass, metal, 
and ropes, were forbidden them ; their food was inspected, and 
their persons searched. Men of harsh dispositions were appointed 
their jailors, of whom the most savage was one Duecce, an officer 
in the army, an old man, and the father of a numerous family ; 
happily for Italy, he w^as a foreigner, and native of Switzerland. 
He, more than any, augmented the severity of the torments caused 
by their chains, by hunger, thirst, and blows, reviving the prac- 
tices, and vying with the cruelties which had been exercised 
during the baronial and monastic period. Next in ferocity, after 
Duecce, came Colonel de Gambs, governor of the prisons of Capua, 

IK VOL. I. 2 I 



378 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. ]799. 

and Scipione Lamarra, a general of the army, besides many 
other obscure persons, whose names deserve to be effaced from 
history. 

But the uncertain state of affairs in Italy afforded a faint gleam 
of hope to the prisoners, while they kept the king and his minis- 
ters in constant alarm ; for French troops were still in Rome and 
Tuscany, Genoa was occupied by a strong garrison composed of 
numerous legions, and stronger still in their leader. General Mas- 
sena ; Piedmont was overrun by Lecourbe ; Macdonald, with a 
numerous army, was on the eve of joining General Moreau ; and, 
judging from the condition of the armies in the field, fortune, 
though inclining towards the side of kings, was yet undecided, 
and ready, when she pleased, to change. Two lists of names were 
therefore presented to the Tribunals of State ; one containing those 
to be condemned to death, and the other, those whose sentence was 
not to be completed until the royal pleasure had been signified ; 
this last was the list of those who had capitulated. Only in two 
cases, vengeance outweighed prudential motives, and this order was 
set aside. The first was that of Geneml Massa, the author of the 
capitulation, who was hung on the gallows, and with him Eleonora 
Pimentel,^ a noble-minded woman, who as a poetess ranks among 
the finest geniuses of Italy, but who held liberal opinions, and was 
the authoress of the 3Ionitore Napoletano, and an eloquent speaker 
in the tribune of the clubs and of the people. 

The Juntas having been informed of the will of the queen and 
of the king, commenced their iniquitous office ; first and most 
eager for the work was the Junta of State, which met in the mo- 
nastery of Monte Oliveto, where this flagitious tribunal held their 
sittings by night, either to prove their indefatigable zeal, or to add 
to the horror and terrors of the scene. In order to prevent any 
stagnation in their acts of tyranny, they resolved to record the 
sentences every Tliursday, publish them the following day, and 
execute them on the Saturday. Those who had capitulated alone 

^ Donna Ehonore Fonseca Plmentd. — sur i;n projet de banque nationale, ou il y 

Une dame Napolitaine, qui s'est d'abord a des vues tres profondes, qui pourroit in- 

distinguee par des poesies agreables et iu- teresser les liommes les phas instruits dans 

genieuses, et qui s'est ensuite livroe a des ces matieres, a.d. 1793. — Memoires Secrets 

etudes arides, mais importantes pour le des Cours de Vltalie, vol. i. p. 77. 
bien public. Elle a composee une livre 



irji). FERDINAND IV. 379 

obtained from tlie king a commutation of punislimont, and in place 
of death, were condemned to perpetual imprisonment in the sub- 
terranean dungeons of Santa Caterina, in the island of Favignana. 
This island, in the seas of Sicily, the iEgusa of the Latins, and at 
that time a prison notorious through the decrees of the Roman 
tyrants, rises from the sea to a great height in the form of a cone, 
on whose summit a castle has been built. Within the castle there 
is a descent by steps cut the whole depth of the rock, until they 
reach an artificial grotto, which well deserves its name of the 
Fossa, or Pit. Here the sun's rays never penetrate, and the cold 
is piercing, while only a dim light pervades the dense moisture 
which hangs in the atniosphere ; it is inhabited by noxious ani- 
mals, while man, however young and robust, soon dies there. This 
was the apartment assigned to nine of the prisoners, among whom 
the most noted were the Prince of Torella, who was an invalid and 
in advanced life, the Marquis Corleto, of the house of Riari, the 
advocate Poerio,^ and the cavaliere Abbamonti. 

I must now enter upon the most tragical part of my history ; for 
after the French had been defeated in the battles of the Trebbia 
and of Novi, the Sicilian Government foreseeing the complete 
triumph of the old over the new, overstepped the barriers which 
had been prescribed by policy (for they had none in conscience), 
and resolved not to mitigate any of the punishments. From that 
moment all the sentences of death were confirmed, and those who 
had capitulated had nothing left them but the prolongation of their 
lives during the few days in which they were confined in the ter- 
rible cell for the condemned. Oronzo Massa and Eleonora Pimentel 
having been executed, Gabriel Manthonb was the next to follow. 
On being questioned by Speciale what he had done to serve the 
Republic, he answered, " Great things, but not sufficient, since we 
ended by capitulating.'" . . . . " What do you plead in your defence?" 
asked the judge; "That I was among those who capitulated." 
" That is not enough." . ..." I have no other for one who despises 
the faith of treaties." He went calmly to his death. 

Manthonb was followed by Nicola Fiano, who, happening to be 
fortunate in his proces, was not found guilty of death ; for savage 
as were the laws, they failed in discovering matter for his condem- 

* The Advocate Poerio. The father of the ex-niiftister Carlo Poerio. 



380 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

nation, but his death had been ordered by commands sent from 
Sicily, and in this dilemma the Junta resorted to perfidy. The 
judge sent for the prisoner from his dungeon, and, as he entered, 
exclaimed, "Is it thoul'^ then ordering his chains to be struck 
off, they were left alone. " Ah ! Fiano,'' he continued, " in what 
a condition do I behold thee once again ? We who shared together 
the pleasures of youth, little thought the time would arrive when 
I should be the judge and thou the delinquent. But the fates have 
ordered, that, happily for me, the life of my friend is placed in my 
hands. Let me for a moment forget my office and thou thy misery ; 
let us be as friend to friend, and concert the means by which to 
save thee. I will prompt thee when to assent and when to be 
silent, so that thou mayest gain credit and confidence for sincerity." 
Fiano was astonished and moved to tears at this proof of friend- 
ship ; Speciale, who was the judge, embraced him, and the prisoner 
repeated whatever he dictated, while the scrivano noted down his 
words, which had a directly contrary effect to that promised, for 
the traitor made him deny what he had previously affirmed in his 
proems, and confess an acquaintance with matters of which he 
really had no knowledge. The unhappy man was thus condemned 
to death upon his own words. In his j^outh he had been the boon 
companion of the villain by whom he was now betrayed. 

Francesco Conforti, a learned man, a bold writer against tlie 
pretensions of Rome, and a legislator under the Republic, was 
menaced with death. His works had been lost, but he was requested 
by Speciale to rewrite them, and was told that his past and present 
services would stand him in great stead. He was given a better 
prison and left in solitude, w^hen he toiled day and night on a work 
in vindication of the secular government against the sacerdotal ; 
having completed his labour he presented it to his judge, who then 
opened his trial, and a few days afterwards rewarded him with deatli. 

Instances such as these, and despair of life, urged the prisoners 
to extremities ; one of them, a man named Velasco, of gigantic 
strength and stature, was replying by evasive answ^ers to the ques- 
tions of the Judge Speciale, when that inhuman wretch threatened 
him, that to punish his lies, he would have him strangled the next 
day on the gallows. Velasco answered, " You will not ;" and be- 
fore the words were out of his mouth, seized liis enemy, and dragged 



1799. FERDINAND IV. 381 

him to the window, hoping, that while grasping him in a close 
embrace, they would both fall together. The scrivano attempted 
to interfere, and the creatures of the police who were in attend- 
ance, hastening thither at the cries for help, Velasco threw himself 
out alone. 

The Count di Ruvo, when reviled by the Judge Sambuti, inter- 
rupted his insults, by saying, " If we were both free, you would 
be more cautious in your language ; these chains make you bold ;'' 
and he shook his fist in his face ; the coward turned pale, and 
commanded that the prisoner should be removed ; but hardly had 
he left the room before Sambuti wrote down his sentence, by which 
that strong man was i\\e following day conducted to execution. 
As a noble, he was permitted to die by the axe, and he requested 
to be allowed to lie on his back, that he might watch with scorn 
the descent of that instrument which cowards fear. 

Some of tlie prisoners in the deep dungeons of Castel-Nuovo 

attempted to escape, aided by a noble woman who was herself at 

liberty within the city ; for in those times of affliction, when danger 

and fear prevented men going abroad, women undertook the cliarge 

of bringing aid to the persecuted. Treated with contumely in the 

chambers of the ministers, driven from the gates of the prisons, 

insulted in their misfortunes by the scrivani and judges, they bore 

all patiently, and modestly but without quailing, returned the 

i following day to the same chambers and the same gates. If any 

of the prisoners escaped the death which had been already resolved 

on, or if any had their punishments mitigated, they owed all to 

the perseverance and charity of these women. One of them, after 

much labour and many attempts, succeeded in introducing files, 

ron, and ropes, with other instruments into the dungeon. The 

nathematician Annibale Giordano,^ who has been already men- 

-ioned in the Third Book of this history, contrived the means of 

;scape. The rest were employed to saw through the bars of the 

vindow, and to arrange the machinery for their descent to the 

ea below, near the harbour, where a boat was ready to receive 

hem. The work was just completed, and the prisoners were 

ejoicing in the hope of liberty ; they were nineteen in number 

nd men of extraordinary merit, as among them were Oirillo, 

^ Annibale Giordano who betrayed the Minister Medici. See ante, p 217. 



382 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

Pagano, Baffi/ and others ; when, in the middle of the night, the 
gates were unlocked, and Duecce entered the dungeon with a 
judge of tlie police, bailiffs, constables, and others ; the two first 
went straight to the spot where the instruments were buried in a 
hole, and to the bars of the window, the way by which the in- 
tended escape was to have been made. They did not appear like 
men in doubt, but went straight to their object without hesita- 
tion ; for two of the prisoners, Annibale Giordano, grown old in 
treachery, and Francesco Bassetti, a general of the Republic, 
had betrayed what was prepared to the commander of the fort, on 
a promise of their own lives being spared. Seventeen persons in 
consequence perished by an ignominious death, while these two 
prolonged their infamous lives ; Bassetti's was short, that of Gior- 
dano long and prosperous. 

The trials proceeded. The Judge Guidobaldi had to examine his 
friend Niccolo Fiorentino, a learned mathematician, jurist, and 
man of science; an ardent, but at the same time cautious advocate 
for liberty, who had avoided public office, and had only endeavoured 
to instruct the people by his w^ords and virtuous example. Guido- 
baldi addressed him thus : — " Let there be few words between us ; 
what were you during the Republic V " Nothing/' answered Fio- 
rentino ; " I was guided by the laws, or by necessity, the supreme 
law.'' Guidobaldi replied that the tribunals, not the accused, were 
appointed to judge of the guilt or innocence of their actions, and 
then addressed him in a speech composed of a smattering of law, 
mingled with insults and protestations of old friendship, while 
ahvays repeating the words, justice, faith, and the goodness of the 
king. The prisoner, wdio was a man of warm and hasty temper, 
lost patience, and burst forth : " The king, not we, occasioned the , 
war with the French ; the king and his general, Mack, caused oui«; 
defeat ; the king fled, leaving the kingdom in poverty and dis- 
order ; it was by his means the enemy conquered and imposed 
their will on the vanquished people ; we obeyed them, as oui 
fathers obeyed the will of King Charles of Bourbon, for the obe- 

^ Pasquale Baffi, a celebrated Greek Library. In 1787, Member of the Hercu 

scholar, born 1749, in Calabria. In 1773 lanean Academy, and employed to tIecipLei 

appointed to the chair of Latin and Greek Greek papyri, 
in Naples, and made Librarian of the Royal 



1790. PEBDIKAND IV. 383 

dience of the conquered is lawful, because an act of necessity ; and 
now you, the delegate of that same King, you speak to us of laws, 
justice, and faith. What are your laws ? laws delivered after the 
act ; what is your justice ? a secret proces, no defence, and arbi- 
trary sentences ; and what your faith ? the terms of the capitulation 
for the castles, which have all been broken. Shame on you for 
profaning words revered by the whole civilized world, and using them 
to serve the purpose of tlie most infamous of tyrannies! Say rather 
that the princes want blood ; do not give yourselves the trouble of 
trials and condemnations, but read the lists of those proscribed, 
and put them to death at once ; this vengeance would be more 
rapid, and more conformable with the tyrant's dignity. Finally, 
since you protest a friendship for me, I exhort you to relinquish 
your present office of executioner rather than judge ; and remember, 
that if the universal justice, which despite deeds such as yours 
still revolves around this earth, does not punish your crimes in your 
lifetime, your detested name will disgrace your children, and your 
iraemory will be cursed for ages to come.'' The vehemence of the 
orator prevented the possibility of interruption, and when he had 
ended, he was handed over to the police, who savagely drawing 
:the ropes and chains tighter, produced as many wounds in his flesh 
as there were knots ; but, on his return to the dungeon, he related 
to us what had passed, and added (a sad but true foreboding), " that 
he would soon repeat his words to our dead comrades.'' 

Mario Pagano only said tliat he believed every attempt at de- 
fence useless, that life had become burdensome to him from the 
anceasing wickedness of man, and the tyranny of governments, 
ind that he hoped for peace after death. 

When Domenico Cirillo was asked his age, he replied, " Sixty ;" 
lis profession ? *' A physician during the king's reign ; a delegate 
)f the people during the Republic." Irritated by this boast, the 
Tudge Speciale then asked in mockery; " And wliat are you in my 
)resence ?"...." In thy presence, coward, I am a hero." He was 
;ondemned to die. His high reputation, and having frequently 
attended the royal family in a medical capacity, caused his execu- 
ion to be postponed ; and during this interval, Hamilton and 
*Jelson sent to inform him in his prison, that if he would ask the 
• ing's pardon it would be granted ; but he answ^ered with dignity 



384 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

that he had lost the fruit of all the labours of his mind in the sack 
of his house, and the charms of domestic life with the hope of con- 
tinuing his name, hy the loss of his niece ; that he had no further 
attractions to life, and that hoping for peace after death, he would 
do nothing to escape it. He suiFered upon the gallows, together 
with Mario Pagano, Ignazio Ciaja, and Vincenzo Russo. So much 
wisdom, so much learning, and so much honour were thus lost to 
Italy in one day. The populace looked on in awe-struck silence ; 
it was rumoured that if the death of Cirillo had not been hastened, 
the king would have pardoned him, but this false report soon died 
away, and obtained no credit. 

It would be a tedious and melancholy task to describe instance 
after instance of the proceedings of the tyrants, and of the misery 
of their victims. I shall therefore only mention those which were 
most cruel and notorious. About three hundred of the first men 
in the kingdom perished, without reckoning those who had been 
killed in fight or during the riots ; of this unhappy number, were 
Carafia, Riario, Colonna, Caracciolo, five of the Pignatellis (of 
Vaglio, Strongoli and Marsico), and at least twenty more members 
of illustrious families; beside whom were seen men distinguished 
in letters or science, such as Cirillo, Pagano, Conforti, Russo, Ciaja, 
Fiorentino, Baffi, Falconieri, Logoteta, De Filippis, Albanese, Bagni, 
Neri, and many more; as well as men renowned for other reasons, 
such as Generals Federici, Massa, Mantlione, Bishop Sarno, Bishop 
Natale, and the Prelate Troise ; besides Eleonora Pimentel, a 
woman of unblemished character, and the unhappy girl Luigia 
Sanfelice. No other city or kingdom in the world, as rich with 
men of genius, has been equally impoverished by the loss of so 
many and of so high an order. The cases of the noble youths 
Serra and Riario, who were beheaded, were still more pitied by 
gentle hearts, neither of them having completed his twentieth year, 
while one of the name of Genzano had hardly attained liis sixteenth. 
An almost incredible fact is recorded of this last : an only son of a 
wealthy and patrician family, and the future hope of their house, 
he died by the executioner ; and his father, the Marquis Genzano, 
either from a base nature, servility, or ambition, was so unnatural 
a monster, that a few weeks after the death of his son, he invited 
the Judges of the Junta to a sumptuous banquet. 



rti). FERDINAND IV. ScSo 

Another miserable spectacle was, tlic destitution of whole fami- 
lies, whose property had been sequestrated or confiscated by the 
Exchequer, or whose houses were empty, from having been rifled 
when the town was sacked; the credit of others had been exhausted 
by their inability to pay, and the aid received from relations 
and friends had been consumed in prison, or by the rapacity of the 
scrivani and judges, during the trials. It was forbidden by law to 
speak to the prisoners, or inquire into the accusations, or to have 
access to the magistrates ; but all were venal, and even mercy 
and justice had their price. Therefore to this day, families who 
were originally in easy circumstances, can with difficulty procure 
the necessaries of life, /and often have to beg for food. The pro- 
perty of the rebels w^as administered by men of cruel and obdurate 
characters, who, in the embarrassed state of the treasury, confis- 
cated whole revenues, sold the land, and neglected to support the 

families of the prisoners. The aged Princess della (I have 

been requested for the present to conceal her name), lived in 
poverty, on the charity of a servant. 

The trial of Sanfelice, who had been the cause of the discovery 
of Baker's conspiracy, commenced. Ferri had been killed in the 
war, or had fled to France, and the relatives of the murdered 
Baker called for vengeance both in the tribunals of State and in 
the palace ; for all the blood which had been shed for the monarchy 
could not satisfy their fury, and they demanded more for the 
fiimily. The unhappy woman was thrown into a horrible dungeon, 
and by the laws which condemned all to death who had committed 
any act to favour the Republic, she was sentenced to die, and 
would have been immediately executed, had she not confessed her- 
self with child. The execution was therefore suspended, but the 
king wrote from Palermo, reproaching the Junta with this delay, 
and ordering the w^oman to be sent to Sicily. On her arrival in 
Palermo she was shut up in a dungeon to wait the day of her 
child's birth, which was to be the last for the mother. 

Another trial which caused much excitement, was that of the 
naval officers. Admiral Caracciolo was dead, but one death w^as not 
enough to appease the rage which had been excited by the fatal 
engagements off Procida and Castellamare, and the affair at the 
bridge of the Maddalena. The queen accordingly wrote from 

VOL. I. 2 k 



386 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

Palermo, ordering tlie Junta to select four of those most implicated, 
and have them executed ; to condemn tlie rest to minor punish- 
ments, and to complete their proces, which had been too long de- 
layed, causing much injury as a precedent, and greatly lamented 
by all the loyal servants of the king. This iniquitous Junta, after 
due deliberation, selected their victims, among whom was Captain 
Sancapre, detained in the prisons of San Stefano, an island oif 
Gaeta. The day of trial had been fixed, but the winds delayed the 
arrival of the ship at the island, and its return with the prisoner ; 
but the queen's orders were not therefore to be disobeyed, nor the 
sentence deferred; the judges, therefore, substituted for the fortu- 
nate Sancaprb, CajDtain Luigi Lagranalais, who had, by a former 
sentence, been condemned to banishment. Nor was this the only 
instance of slavish subserviency. Flavio Pirelli, a worthy magis- 
trate, who was in prison, after having been acquitted and liberated 
by the Junta, was condemned, by letters of the king, to perpetual 
imprisonment at Ariano, Michel Angelo Novi, condemned to 
banishment by the Junta, was, by a command, sent from Palermo, 
shut up in prison for life ; Gregorio Mancini, sentenced to fifteen 
years' banishment, had taken leave of his wife and children, and 
was on board the ship ready to sail, when he was detained by fresh 
orders from the king, and the next day perished on the gallows. 

Hardly had the " case of the navy," as it was called, been 
concluded, before that of the city commenced. Serious charges 
were brought against the nobles ; disobedience to the king's lieu- 
tenant ; usurpation of authority ; the creation of a new govern- 
ment upon the fall of the monarchy and of the House of Bourbon ; 
the peo2)le prevented defending the city ; assistance rendered to 
the enemy ; all which crimes were concentrated in one. The Junta 
of State was again the tribunal employed for this trial, with the 
addition of some extra judges chosen by the king from magistrates 
of high rank and from his ministers; the mode of procedure was 
to be identical with the la,st, though the punislmients were to be 
different. The whole order of nobles trembled for their lives ; for 
though the accused were not above twenty persons, numbers who 
were connected with them by blood, took alarm. They could pro- 
duce in their defence the ancient privileges of their order ; but 
these had been shaken by the events of the period. The trial 



1799. FERDINAND IV. 387 

only occupied a few days ; some were set at liberty, many were 
punished with imprisonment, or confinement in the islands near 
Sicily ; and one alone was condemned to death — the Duke di 
Monteleone, well known in Europe and America, who possessed 
riches beyond the limits of a private fortune, a husband and father, 
and respected for the qualities of his heart and head. He would 
have perished by the liands of the executioner, had not letters 
from Pope Pius vr., addressed to the king, begged and obtained as 
a favour, that the sentence of death should be commuted to perpe- 
tual imprisonment in the island of Favignana. The condemned 
went to their several places of punishment, and among them the 
young Prince of Canosk, declared guilty, because he had proposed 
to change the monarchy into an oligarchy ; three of the eight 
judges had sentenced him to death, but the others, more lenient, 
pardoned his having ventured to move the measure, and con- 
demned him to only five years' imprisonment. 

The Junta of generals, presided over by Lieutenant-General de 
Gambs, the Council of the Subitanei (the improvised), and the 
Visitors to the provinces, rivalled the Junta of State in the 
rigour of their sentences, but could not equal it ; not because 
their ideas of justice were less stern, but because the principal 
delinquents had been handed over to the first Junta, of well-tried 
perfidy. Along with the trials for capital ofiences, trials of less 
importance were hurried through, condemning to imprisonment, 
confinement within certain limits, and in many cases to exile; 
among the exiles were seen the old, the sick, the infirm, boys or 
children, who had not passed their twelfth year, matrons and 
maidens ; all which innocent persons were punished on various 
pretexts ; some for having altered the fashion of their hair, or 
allowed their beards to grow ; some for having been present at a 
Republican ceremony, and the women for having begged alms for 
the wounded and sick. Amidst this unrestrained license in 
punishment, there was not wanting the incentive of private hatred 
or rapacity, which, under pretence of reasons of State, sent an 
enemy, creditor, or rival into exile ; many were betrayed or 
watched by servants, tutors, friends, relations, a brother, or a wife. 
The morals of the people, already lax, owing to the political con- 
dition of the kingdom in past ages, and to recent events, sunk to 



388 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF IfAPLES. 1799. 

the lowest ebb of degradation in the year 1799, by so many 
examples of virtue punished and vice rewarded. 

Whilst tlie good were persecuted by the tyrant, the bad were pro- 
moted and loaded with gifts and decorations, called honours, though 
converted to a shameful use. The king gave Cardinal Ruffo tlie 
Abbey of Santa Sofia in benefice, with an income of nine thousand 
ducats in j^erpetuity for his family, besides other lands wliich 
yielded a net revenue of fifty thousand ducats and the office of lieu- 
tenant of the kingdom, with an annual salary of twenty-four thou- 
sand ducats ; a new kind of largesse, and only possible where the 
wishes of the king are laws to the State. The gifts were accom- 
panied by letters expressive of the royal attachment, and gratitude 
for the recovery of the kingdom. Other letters from the Emperor 
of all the Russias, Paul i., assured the Cardinal that he was 
the admiration of all good men, for his brilliant campaign in 
Calabria, and creatine^ him a Knioht of the Orders of St. Andrew 
and St. Alexander. The rank of colonel was bestowed on a 
retired captain, a brother of the Cardinal, with an annual pen- 
sion of three thousand ducats; while ecclesiastical benefits and 
gifts, lands, and public offices were bestowed on the bishops of 
Capaccio and Policastro. The Chevalier Micheroux obtained the 
rank of marshal and a splendid diplomatic appointment, besides 
rich stipends ; De Cesare, the livery servant in Corsica, and the 
pretended Duke of Saxony in Puglia, was made a genertil ; Pronio, 
Fra Diavolo, Mammone, and Sciarpa, with all the leaders of the 
royalist bands, were named colonels, and most of them made 
barons, and decorated with the order of Constantino, besides being 
enriched with lands and pensions. 

The royal gratitude extended to the officers of the Turkish and 
Russian forces, where it was expressed by doubling their pay and 
by large gifts. Tlie greatest rewards were reserved for Sir Wil- 
liam Hamilton, while the queen bestowed all pains to prove the 
gratitude of the Bourbons towards Emma. A magnificent ban- 
quet in lionour of Lord Nelson was ordered in an apartment of 
the palace in Palermo, which was fitted up as a temple of glory, 
where, as the Admiral entered, he was met by the royal family, 
and crowned with laurel by the hand of the Prince of Salerno. 
At the same moment, the king presented him with a rich sword, 



ir:)!>. FERDINAND IV. '^Hi) 

and a diploma creating him Duke of Bronte, with an annual pen- 
sion of six thousand ounces.^ Bronte is a little village at the foot 
of Etna near Catania, and was selected for the fable connected 
with its name.^ The sculptors in Rome offered, at their own ex- 
pense, to erect a column with rostrums for the Duke of Bronte. 
These rewards and honours were all deserved by the conqueror of 
Aboukir, and, perhaps, scarcely equalled his merits ; but the 
Nelson of Naples was unworthy of them ; the royal family and 
people who had only lavished encomiums on the hero of Egypt, 
now dedicated immortal monuments to the murderer of Caracciolo, 
to the degraded lover of Lady Hamilton, to him who had violated 
the public faith, and w/hose arm had been all-powerful in the sup- 
port of tyranny. It is to such baseness that Italy may trace the 
chief cause of her miseries. 

Still greater recompenses were conferred upon the formation of 
a new army. The old army had been dissolved, the Republicans 
were proscribed or held in detestation, and the royalist bands were 
disorderly, composed of many officers and few or no soldiers. The 
Cardinal, in the beginning of the war wishing to avoid incurring 
the displeasure of his followers, allowed each to assume the mili- 
tary rank or position he fancied. The leaders therefore took 
the rank of colonel, not choosing higher, because there was neither 
time nor workmen in the provinces of sufficient skill to embroider 
the uniform of a general ; nevertheless some, such as Pronio, 
Mammone, and Rodio, assumed the title; whilst one of the name 
of Carbone, who had only been a private in the old army, and a 
quarter-master, Nunziante, took the rank of colonels. Another 
soldier, of the name of Pastore, with more modesty called himself 
a major. All the brothers of Fra Diavolo, men who had only been 
common labourers, appeared as captains ; and there were innumer- 
able colonels, majors, and officers of all grades, as each assumed the 
rank he pleased, or accepted that given him by chance. To the 
mere wearing a uniform succeeded the ambition for command. 
Fools, unfitted for the noble profession of arms by their low birth and 
habits, now aimed at serving in the new army in their self-created 
rank. Amidst this conflict of interest and claims, it required skil- 

* A Sicilian ounce, twelve francs, eighty centimes, or ten shillings and eightpence. 

* Bronte, thunder, one of the Cyclopes. 



o90 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

ful management to re-form the army, and a council was lield on 
the subject, where, though Cardinal Ruffo gave a true picture of 
the ruffians who had composed his band of followers, the king 
dictated ordinances and despatches to this effect : — 

" As the campaign of 1 798 was lost bj the treachery of many 
officers in the army, we will, that all rebels, both those who failed 
in their duty, and those who accepted military or civil employment 
under the Republic, shall be excluded from the army. 

" Whoever served under that unlawful government shall be 
reputed guilty of high treason, more guilty if taken in arms, worse 
still if fighting against our standard, and guilty of death, if urged 
on by perfidy and obstinacy, they liave been wounded. 

" But willing to indulge our natural clemency, and to allow 
something for the inadvertencies of youth, besides offering some 
inducement to repentance, we will that those officers shall be recom- 
mended to our royal favour, who, tempted by poverty, served the 
rebels from necessity, yet refused to fight against our standard, or 
who at its sight deserted, or who, evincing still greater fidelity or 
repentance, joined the royalist troops, and turned against our 
enemies ; and we will that those who held the supreme command 
of any fort under the Republic, yet surrendered it into the hands 
of our soldiers or our allies, be readmitted into the royal service. 

" And after having thus provided for tlie officers of the old army, 
we command that in the new, those who fought for the cause of 
the throne shall stand first ; pardoning the offences of their pre- 
vious lives and actions, which in themselves may perhaps be 
deserving of censure, but which were committed in the re-conquest 
of the kingdom ; for we shall only esteem and regard in them the 
services rendered to our cause. The leaders of the royalist bands 
shall therefore be colonels, and all shall be officers (down to en- 
signs) wdio fought with distinction in these bands ; that rewards 
may be apportioned to merit, we declare those deserving who were 
the first to take up arms in a community, who roused the citizens 
to fight, and who led forth numerous bands, or performed any 
remarkable feat in arms ; and we declare those still more deserv- 
ing who conspired against the enemy, and caused him greater 
injury by open or secret means.'' 

To these ordinances succeeded regulations for the levy of sol- 



FERDINAND IV. Si)\ 

dicis ; wlicn it was found necessary to form many battalions of 
free companies, or volunteers, because the warriors of the Iloh' 
Faith refused to return to the hard labour of the pickaxe, or con- 
descend to the discipline of regular troops. 

By the above-mentioned royal ordinances, some of the Bourbon- 
ist juntas were commissioned to scrutinize the actions of the offi- 
cers of the former army, arid as to the rigour of this measure was 
added the harsh character of the judges, few escaped death, impri- 
sonment, or exile. After one court-martial had cruelly condemned 
General Federici to death, for having served under tlie Republic, 
another court-martial ordered the execution of Major Eleutrio Rug- 
geri, because two recerit wounds were discovered upon his body ; 
many and shameful falsehoods followed, in the endeavour to preserve 
life. Some asserted they had fled from battle ; others purchased 
a fiilse certificate from tlie leaders of the Holy Faith, for having 
deserted the banners of the Republic ; some got their names in- 
scribed in the lists of conspirators with Baker, Tanfani, or Cristal- 
loro, paying a high price to stigmatize their own names with a 
treachery of which they were innocent ; while others concealed 
the scars of honourable wounds. Forged letters and documents, 
lying and suborned witnesses, and perveisions of trutli, were con- 
stant ; all ideas of honour were reversed, and thus the strongest 
bond which unites an army was severed. The Juntas were chiefly 
guided in their sentences by the single fact, whether the oflicer 
under examination liad or had not served the Republic ; including 
all as traitors who had been employed by that government, and 
those it had neglected, faithful ; and as the former government 
had only enlisted the services of brave men, and had passed over 
cowards, virtue was thus punished, and pusillanimity rewarded. 

Soon afterwards an inquiry was instituted into the conduct of 
the generals who had served in the army of Mack, as well as into 
that of the commanders of the fortresses which had surrendered ; 
Gaeta, Pescara, and Civitella. General Micheroux, who had been 
defeated at Fermo, and had retreated, leaving the frontier exposed, 
was acquitted and commended ; Generals Mech and Sassonia left 
Sicily laden with gifts ; Bourcard, De Gambs, and Naselli were re- 
stored to their former rank ; Lieutenant-Colonel Lacombe, the pusil- 
lanimous governor of Civitella, was pardoned, and soon afterwards 



392 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 17l*^. 

promoted to a colonelcy ; Colonel Prichard had the same good 
fortune, and was advanced to a brigadier, and Marshal Tschiudy 
continued to enjoy his salary in idleness, as well as the authority 
belonging to his rank. Yet these men had been the first and sole 
cause of the success of the French invasion, and had not only 
failed in military skill and courage, but had broken their oaths 
to guard those fortresses from the enemy ; and their fears, how- 
ever justified, did not excuse their guilt. Had they been Neapo- 
litans, and brave and upright men, with years of meritorious ser- 
vice, they would have been at once executed ; but they were 
foreigners, bending under years of servitude, degraded by a court 
life, and were not therefore suspected of treason, a word believed 
or invented, to excuse all the mistakes and violence of despotism. 
The rest of the state was reorganized as well as the army, and 
all the acts of the Government breathed a malignant spirit of 
vengeance. Veteran officers were afraid to serve, new aspirants 
were audacious in their demands, while those who had fought 
under the Cardinal were not all desirous of a place in tlie army ; 
many wishing rather for appointments in the civil service, where 
they could live at their ease. De Chiaro, formerly a leader in the 
republican army, who had yielded himself with his troops and the 
city of Cosenza, into the arms of RuiFo, was sent as governor of the 
province to the very city which had witnessed his treachery ; and 
numbers of the old officials were turned out to be replaced by those 
who had conspired with Baker, Tanfano, and Cristalloro. The 
State was remodelled, and although based on acts of injustice, it 
was better adapted than formerly to the condition of the people, 
and their rulers ; thus enabling the Government to rise stronger 
than ever from its ruins ; it owed its strength, however, to the sub- 
version of ancient statutes, and to the elevation of men and things 
belonging to the modern school ; in consequence of which a state 
of excitement and suspense continued, as in a time of conquest, 
which could not cease until the new era had been established, 
which required time, or much prudence and moderation on the 
part of the Government. 



\:'XK FERDINAND IV. .'^9.3 



CHAPTER 11. 

WARLIKE ENTERPRISES OF THE NEAPOLITAN GOVERNMENT. 

The king, upon his i^estoration, exceeded all his former tyranny ; 
an assertion which I make with some reluctance, lest my readers 
and posterity, rather than my cotemporaries (who have themselves 
witnessed what I describe), may suspect that I write in a spirit of 
rancour, influenced by my owni unhappy exile and my present 
misfortunes. All the events related in the preceding chapter, 
occurred under the eyes of Ferdinand himself, who was on board 
an English vessel in the bay of Naples, whence he sailed on the 
4th August for Palermo. Before his departure he issued a pro- 
clamation to the effect, that by the aid of God, of his allies and his 
people, he had vanquished a strong and treacherous enemy ; that 
he had come to Naples for the purpose of rewarding the deserving, 
and punishing rebels from whom he never intended to accept 
terms of capitulation ; but while justice forbade any interference 
with the course of punishment, his royal inclinations prompted 
him to continue the rewards of merit ; he had therefore ordered 
the State trials to proceed, and that the fullest inquiry should be 
made into services rendered by communities or individuals. Dur- 
ing his temporary absence from his faithful city of Naples, he 
confided the safety and tranquillity of the kingdom to the rein- 
stated authorities, to the magistrates, army, but, above all, to the 
tried fidelity of his subjects, which he bade them maintain un- 
changed, and add to the honours they had already won ; as he, 
on his side, would constantly keep their interests in mind, and 
dispense rewards and emoluments among them with a generous 
hand. 

The English vessel under the command of Nelson, set sail with 



394 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OP NAPLES. 1793. 

a favourable wind, and conveyed Ferdinand back to Palermo, 
where he was welcomed amidst rejoicings greater than had ever 
been before witnessed, and almost as if he had been a victorious 
king who liad just escaped the perils of war, and was bringing 
peace along with him. But time only was wanting to convert the 
fulsome rejoicings of that people into lamentations, produced by 
the same man and the same inhuman conduct, in which they were 
now so madly rejoicing. Where resistance is weak or impossible, 
the general dissatisfaction may be manifested by the universal 
gloom and the desertion of the place where the despot is expected 
to arrive. This silent expression of disapprobation would prove the 
sincerity of the people, and be consistent with their dignity ; but, 
though easy and safe, so much virtue is not to be found in this 
effeminate and corrupt age. Ferdinand was therefore applauded 
by the Sicilians in the year 1799, for tyranny exercised over the 
Neapolitans, and by the Neapolitans in 1816, for restoring servi- 
tude in Sicily ; he thus learnt with how much ease he could sub- 
jugate these two infatuated races.^ 

But neither the rewards nor promises of the king, nor the tardy 
attempt at restraint by the Cardinal, could stop the violence of the 
Bourbonists in the city ; the state of license fluctuated with the pas- 
sions of the populace, and when these were satiated, sometimes 
relaxed for a while to be resumed with greater violence than ever 
upon the slightest occasion, or when the evil passions of the multi- 
tude w^ere excited. The necessity of a foreign war came opportunely 
to remove the rabble to a distance from the kingdom, and to send 
them off to Rome, where the king proposed to expel the French, 
while his Christian warriors hoped to plunder the city and return 
with fresh booty. They set out led by Rodio, who called himself 
in his edicts, " General of the army of the Holy Faith, and Doctor 
of Laws ;" he was accompanied by a few troops of the line, and 
by several squadrons of cavalry, under the command of General 
Roccaromana ; Sciarpa, Pronio, Nunziante, Salomone, and Fra Dia- 
volo, conducted their followers, an undisciplined multitude, aver- 
aging twelve thousand men, though their numbers varied, some- 

^ For an account of the causes of the an- and Neapolitans, see Gualterio— ^iro/^t- 
tagonism existing between the Sicilians menti Italiani. 



1. FERDINAND IV. 395 

times Increased by those Romans who joined them, and sometimes 
diminished by desertions from tlie camp. After a few trifling en- 
counters, they took up their quarters at Albano and Frascati, 
ravaging the phiin beneath in the direction of Rome, wliere the 
people had risen in revolt; as that vast city was only garrisoned by 
a few French, and the Christian banners displaying the cross, were 
waving within sight of their walls : besides which, General Rodio 
was carrying on intrigues within the city, by means of one Giuseppe 
Clary, a Roman, who had joined his camp. The dangers of the gar- 
rison increased from hour to hour, exposed as they were to attacks 
without and within the city ; General Garnier accordingly, in the 
night of the 16th Augusit, having prepared his squadrons for the at- 
tack of the Bourbonist camp, and placed guards on the city, left the 
gates at the first dawn of day. With the superior military skill of 
a veteran soldier, united with French ardour, he contrived to make 
his troops, who fought with twice the valour of the enemy, appear 
double their number. The first posts of the Bourbonists fled as soon 
as he came in sight, and the second followed this example ; the 
fugitives spread the alarm and disorder, and the whole Christian 
host, unable to cope with an enemy in the field, hastened in con- 
fusion towards the frontiers of Naples ; while Garnier, having 
placed a small body of troops at Albano and Frascati, returned to 
Rome amidst the plaudits of the expiring Republic. 

The German troops had meanwhile gained possession by capi- 
tulation of the little stronghold of Civita Castellana, and the 
English squadrons were closely beleaguering Civita Vecchia, while 
fresh and disciplined troops, who had arrived from Naples with 
General Bourcard, pressed hard the siege of Rome, and obliged 
'Garnier to treat for its surrender, as well as for that of the castles 
in the Roman States, garrisoned by the French. The treaty was 
signed on the 27th September ; the following were the most im- 
portant conditions : — 

" The French are not to be treated as prisoners of war, but are 
at liberty to return to their country, and their adherents may 
follow them, or remain in Rome with security to their persons and 
property. The acts of the Republic to be pardoned and sunk 
^n oblivion ; Rome to be consigned to the Neapolitan troops 
)f the line, Civita Vecchia to the English ; the Roman territory to 



396 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. K:'!' 

be evacuated by the French on the 4th of October, the soldiers to 
retire with the honours of war." 

The terms of this capitulation were maintained on both sides, 
and General Garnier addressed the Roman people in these words : 
— " The inconstant fortune of war has forced me to accept terms 
from the enemy ; in the treaty you will find new proofs of repub- 
lican loyalty, and you will perceive that I have had your interests, 
Romans, as much at heart as tliose of the French ; which is only 
just, since we have a common cause in good or evil fortune. The 
acts of the Roman Republic are pardoned and forgotten ; your 
persons are safe, your possessions secure ; if any of you choose to 
follow the French flag, you shall receive all that is due to the 
unfortunate ; those who remain, confiding in the faith of treaties, 
will be safe. Be resigned to your new destiny, and obey those 
now in power." Bourcard proclaimed by an edict, his intention 
to maintain the terms of the capitulation, that the acts of the 
Republic should be forgotten, and only new offences punished, but 
these with severity. Their arms were laid down and delivered, 
the companies of the civic guard disbanded, and all signs of the 
Republic effaced. 

On the SOth September the French troops left Rome, and the 
Neapolitans entered. The first were followed by a number of 
Roman fugitives, and the second by the multitudes of the Holy 
Faith. The trees of liberty had been cut down in the night, and 
numberless sacerdotal devices which had been concealed, now 
appeared in the light of day. The standard of Naples was hoisted 
upon the castle of Sant' Angelo, and upon the public buildings ; 
and the royal seal was affixed to the closed gates of the Vatican 
and Quirinal : tliere was no sign that the dominion of the Pope 
would be restored. One tree of liberty alone remained standing 
in the Piazza del Vaticano, which General Bourcard proposed to 
cut down in a public ceremonial, and when cut down and burnt, 
to scatter its ashes to the winds. But the festival was converted 
into a riot, for while acts significant of hatred and vengeance were 
sanctioned by the chief authority, the same passions were awakened 
in the populace, who, carrying the marble bust of Brutus through 
the city, wounded many of the partisans of the Republic, plundered 
their houses, and robbed in the streets, until, at the conclusion of 



]:m. FERDINAND IV. 397 

the ceremony for the tree, the troops which had been drawn up 
before the Vatican, were sent in patrols tlirough the city to 
restore order. 

Bourcard was soon afterwards succeeded in the command by 
General Diego Naselli, Prince of Aragona, who arrived from Naples 
in October, with the office and title of military and civil comman- 
der-in-chief of the Roman States ; tidings reached Rome at that 
very time of tlie death of Pius vi., and the pontifical chair being 
vacant, all looked anxiously for the first orders of Aragona, who 
now possessed the chief and sole authority. They came witli a 
terrific sound ; for by the edict published on the 9th of that month, 
be proclaimed his powers to have been confided to him by the 
King of Naples, the conqueror of Rome ; and that he was sent by 
him to organize the State, to efiace every vestige or remembrance 
of the detested Republic, and to purge tlie desolating plague of 
democracy from that part of Italy. Fear transpired through these 
threats, as the Neapolitan troops, as well as those of the Germans, 
Russians, Turks, and English, were spoken of in exaggerated 
terms, and said to be on their way to put down the rebels. Ara- 
gona himself trembled, but, though alarmed, the power was his, 
and those he ruled over had more real cause for fear. 

By other edicts he ordered all strangers to quit Rome imme- 
diately, and threatened with death those who refused obedience 
or delayed their departure, as well as any Romans who should 
lend them their aid. Without examination or trial, he sent five 
motaries into exile who had drawn up the deed by which Pius vi. 
had been deposed from his temporal throne ; and banished others, 
only because they had been seen acting as officials or liad been adhe- 
irents of the Republic ; and, therefore, their presence gave offence 
land was a subject for scandal : he filled the dungeons with respect- 
able citizens, among whom Count Torriglione di Fano is especially 
mentioned, a man of the purest moral character and of high merit. 
Aragona (as is usual with men of violent tempers), increasing in 
severity, condemned such men as Zaccaleoni and De Matteis, 
virtuous citizens, and the last consuls of the Roman Republic, to 
)e mounted on asses and paraded round the city, surrounded by 
oolice and followed by the heedless rabble ; and in like manner 
vere condemned thirty-five persons, all noted for the good they 



398 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

had done tlie State. He confiscated tlie property of fugitives, of 
condemned persons, and of the absent, as well as of all those who 
had undergone summary punishments. In edicts relating to penal- 
ties and punishments, their limit was to be left " to his arbitration ;'' 
and to give permanence to his acts, he organized the police, increased 
the number of police officials and spies, and created a tribunal of 
state, by which the trials were carried on according to the rules laid 
down for the Junta of Naples. After witnessing so many acts of 
injustice on the part of the Government, the populace and soldiery, 
whose violence had hitherto only been feebly repressed, cast aside 
all restraint ; every person who was supposed to be a partisan of 
the Republic was insulted in various ways by the dregs of the 
people, as well as by the followers of the Holy Faith, and (if the 
truth must be confessed) even by some of the Neapolitan army, 
who rifled houses and shops, profaned the sanctity of the do- 
mestic hearth, and insulted, w^ounded, and killed all who resisted 
their villany. 

Whilst this miserable state of things still continued, which 
Aragona called a restoration of order, he remodelled tlie laws 
relating to the ordinary tribunals of justice, to the finances, and 
administration, all in the name of the King of Naples, entirely 
ignoring the Papacy, and imitating the statutes and forms used in 
the Neapolitan kingdom ; he even commanded the people to obey 
no other rule than that which proceeded from his Sicilian Majesty. 
He created a tribunal, under the title of Reggenza di Giustizia 
(commission of justice), for civil causes, and another, Reggenza di 
Polizia (commission of police), for criminal, which two commis- 
sions united under one head, were in imitation of the ^reat court 
of the Yicaria of Naples. A new tribunal called the Camerale, 
was appointed to try civil causes appertaining to the community 
and to the administration of public property, and was copied from 
the Camera Sommaria (Audit Office) ; and a Consiglio Rotale,^ a 
supreme tribunal of appeal in verdicts on criminal or civil causes 
attached to the Commission of Justice and Police, and for consul- 
tation in cases where the royal pardon was to be asked, or on go- 
vernmental commissions, represented the Royal Chamber of Santa 

^ Consiglio Rotale, court of civil causes, called Eotale, because tlie judges sat ii; 
circle. 



1700. FERDINAND IV. 399 

Cliiara ;^ special tribunals for commerce, agriculture, and tlie arts, 
were instituted as at Naples ; and to complete the resemblance, a 
junta of state reigned in Rome with terrific and absolute power. 
The codes of law which had at all times been confused and indis- 
tinct, had degenerated still more during the political commotions, by 
new laws and decrees, which only hampered the judgments and 
consciences of the judges ; they were made still worse by addi- 
tional ordinances of Aragona, adopted from the legislative code of 
Naples. 

He also attempted to remedy the finances. The fall of the Papal 
Government, which had been supplanted by that of the Republic ; 
the French armies long stationed in Rome, the arrival of the 
hordes of which tlie armies hostile to France were composed, a 
long foreign and domestic war in a small and barren territory, 
with two successive years of bad harvest, and, what was worse, an 
uncertain future, causing consumption and stagnation in all the 
-sources of wealth, had reduced the Roman States to poverty and 
misery: but General Naselli Aragona had various expedients by 
which to fill the coffers of the Treasury ; he issued a new law 
'revolving the sales, leases, rents and alienations of the State pro- 
perty under the Roman Republic, and by other ordinances seques- 
trated the possessions and confiscated all the land belonging to 
trepublicans, even including that of men who had been arrested 
ihough not yet condemned: he revived former taxes, imposed 
lew, and among them one upon land; he also wisely included 
( jcclesiastics among the rate-payers, and annulled their immunities, 
mch as the exemption of church patrimonies, abbeys, monasteries, 
jonvents, hospitals, charitable institutions, and privileged persons 
u)f all kinds, as well as property acquired on doubtful titles. 
I These acts, opposed to the spirit of the Roman hierarchy, and 
.ppearing like the establishment of a permanent dominion for 
he King of the Sicilies, together with the despotic rule of the 
jerman General Froelick in tlie marches, raised a suspicion that 
hese successful conquerors meant to retain possession of the con- 
uered regions, and to barter for them in the sale of nations, 
'hich was believed near and certain: For the disasters* of the 
Vench armies continued to increase during the whole of 1799: 

^ Royal Chamber of Santu Cliiara — a court of appeal. 



400 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1793. 

Macdonald had been defeated at the Trebbia, Joubert at Novi, and 
Lecourbe in Piedmont ; the fortresses had fallen, Genoa was 
tottering, Italy reconquered by her former kings, France menaced 
upon the banks of the Var and on the mountains of Savoy ; the 
Directory of the Great Republic powerless, and the nation dis- 
heartened and weakened from internal feuds. Perceiving that 
such was the state of affairs, the sovereigns of Europe, no longer 
fearing the restoration of the fortunes of France, ventured on 
higher aspirations and hopes. 

They little foresaw what destinies General Bonaparte was bring- 
ing with him from the East, where, hearing of the extremities to 
which France was reduced, and perceiving that the war in Egypt 
was languishing, victory doubtful, and if gained, would be of no 
advantage to the Republic, he left General Kieber in command, 
and crossing the sea in a frigate, braving all the dangers with 
which he was surrounded, but favoured by wind and fortune, 
landed at Frejus, and proceeded in triumph to Paris, where he 
appeared like a meteor, and as if preternaturally arriving at so 
momentous a conjuncture, amidst the agitation of parties, and 
when all were perplexed by projects, hopes, and fears ; he alone 
stood calm, weighing the events, and inwardly resolved to change 
the disordered state of the Republic to a firmer government, and 
under the name of Consul, now conferred on him, was in reality 
Dictator. 

His return from Egypt was displeasing to the sovereigns of 
Europe, as all feared the name of Bonaparte, and that he might 
support France in her decline ; but none had yet formed the 
remotest conception how strong a prop this single man would 
prove. Tliey were, on the other hand, pleased to see the fall of 
tlie Republic, as it appeared to prove that a single head was the 
form of government necessary to the existing state of society, and 
because they little suspected that a soldier of fortune could make 
himself a king ; they were waiting, therefore, until he had j^laced 
fetters on the wild excesses of the French people, and until the 
mad ambition of their leaders had become exhausted, so as to 
enable the royalists within the country, tlie refugees abroad, and 
the king's army, aided by foreign powers, to conduct Louis xviii. 
witli more ease to the throne of France. Their hopes were en- 



». FERDINAND IV. 401 

eouraged by the belief that Bonaparte was inclined to smooth the 
way for tliem, and would himself rest contented with such recom- 
penses as kings have in their power to bestow — rank, titles, 
riches, and servitude. Meantime the lovers of liberty sighed over 
the fiillen Republic, and calling Bonaparte dictator, Caesar, and 
usurper, whetted the daggers of Brutus, and, in every newspaper 
from France, hoped to read tliat the tyrant had fallen. 

Between these two parties, inspired by hope and indignation, 
was a small number of sound thinkers, who looked upon the Con- 
sul as tlie saviour of the age ; for France had never been a republic 
except in outward forms, but had been governed despotically by 
leaders, to whom the pbople had servilely submitted ; the former 
had ruled like kings, and the latter either obeyed like vassals, or 
refused obedience as rebels: an instantaneous transition from 
absolutism to the freest form of government was impossible, 
because the masses accustomed to despotism had no idea of 
government except in the shape of a tyranny. Aware of this, 
Bonaparte united himself to the people, and made their views his 
own, while acting as their Consul ; and from that day forth arose 
a rational confidence that all the possible aims of the French Re- 
volution would be fulfilled; for if France had hitherto been able 
to resist attacks at home and abroad, she was less indebted for 
her success to the strength of her own Government, than to the 
chances of war, to a few men of genius, and to the first ardour in 
the cause of liberty, which had already cooled down by disasters 
and bad government. 

Whilst the Consul was organizing the different parts of the 
state in France, and preparing treaties, which were however 
rejected by foreign potentates, and raising new armies and fresh 
soldiers, the disasters attending the French flag in Italy still con- 
tinued ; and tlie Conclave, assembled in Venice, was considering 
;he choice of a new Pontiff who, at all events, should be opposed 
France. Cardinal Ruffo arrived there with instructions from 
he King of the Two Sicilies ; and full of ambitious views for him- 
elf, he resigned the reins of government in Naples into the hands 
'f the Prince of Cassero, a Sicilian, appointed by the king viceroy 
f the kingdom ; Cassero had magnificent tastes, yet was prudent, 
nd as humane as the times admitted. Many indeed were the 

VOL. I. 2 L 



402 HISTORY OF THE KINGDOM OF NAPLES. 1799. 

calls upon liis compassion, for not a day passed without men, 
until then revered for their wisdom or virtue, seen hanging on 
the gibbet, or beheaded in the blood-stained market-place. Exe- 
cutions had become so frequent, that the religious ceremonies 
usually attending them were obliged to be omitted, and tlie 
Judge Guidobaldi, to relieve the royal finances, made a fresh 
agreement with tlie executioner to pay him a monthly salary 
for his cruel office, instead of, as before, a sum for each person 
executed. 

Thus the year 1 799 closed with the loss of many valuable lives, 
for Italy and for the world, when inoculation from the cow, as a pro- 
tection against small-pox, came to restore the population, by pre- 
serving numbers from death. The remedy was undoubted, because 
it had long been practised by the people of the East, in Georgia 
and Circassia, celebrated for the extirpation of the natural small- 
pox by vaccination, and thus preserving the beauty of the Georgian 
and Circassian women. In Europe, where an immense number of 
children annually died, an attempt was made to save them by ino- 
culating them in a good season, and under favourable circumstances, 
with a mild form of small-pox from the human subject ; and as 
this was found beneficial to a certain extent, the idea led gradually 
to a still greater discovery. At a meeting of physicians in Paris 
in 1775, the subject of vaccination was discussed, but no result 
followed, until in the year 1799, an English physician, Jenner, 
revived the idea in London, where he tried it on several children, 
and published the effect, adding an account of early experiments, 
and explaining the present process, thus converting the mere con- 
jecture of a remedy into a fact. The reputation and glory Jenner 
acquired from this discovery, excited the envy of the medical 
school of France ; as they boasted (appealing to the above-men- 
tioned academical discussions) that they were his precursors : but 
the honour remained with the Englishman ; for a discovery in art 
or science consists in one certain fact deduced from many vague and 
obscure facts by which it has been preceded ; and which only proves 
that that particular science or art has reached a stage which allows 
of further progress, and the invention follows as a necessary 
consequence. Whoever, therefore, by his own sagacity or his good 
fortune can give tangible proof of the value of experiments, u 



M.O. FERDINAND IV. 40:i 

deservedly considered tlio inventor, whatever may liave been tlie 
researches, and fruitless labours of his precursors. 

The views of Jenner spread throughout Europe, in spite of liind- 
rances from the war, from parental affection, which shrank from 
being first in the experiment, and (incredible as it may appearj 
from religion. Several physicians wrote against vaccination, ser- 
mons were preached against it from the pulpit, denouncing it as 
sinful, and both declared the proof of its permanent efficacy was 
still wanting, and that the small-pox might possibly return at a 
more advanced and dangerous period of life ; or even that some 
other disease might be generated by the repression of a natural 
complaint. In the year 1800, in the midst of those disputes. Dr. 
Marshall, an Englishman, arrived in Naples to introduce the 
celebrated remed